Storer’s 1850 1st Prize Bowdoin dissertation
The 'History and Resources of the Valley of the Mississippi.'
By a member of the Harvard Senior Class
THE JOURNALS OF HORATIO ROBINSON STORER, M.D.
AS A YOUNG NATURALIST AND MEDICAL STUDENT 1847-1851
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
TRIP TO RUSSIA IN 1847. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
HARVARD COLLEGE: 1847-1849 . . . . . . . . . . .17
LABRADOR: 1849 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
FIRST YEAR IN MEDICAL SCHOOL . . . . . . . . 99
AFTERWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
The Boston surgeon, Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D. (1830-1922), is known for his key role in creating the specialty of gynecology and for being the first surgeon to remove a pregnant uterus. The diseases peculiar to women were little understood and poorly treated when Storer began medical practice in 1853. Medical specialization of any kind was unacceptable to physicians at that time and a physician who paid attention to the female genitals was particularly suspect, given that there were “quacks” who pandered to women's non-medical needs. Horatio faced strong resistance to his campaign to promote gynecology, particularly from powerful Boston physicians and surgeons who also were upset because Horatio advocated chloroform, the anesthetic discovered by his Scottish mentor, Dr. (later Sir) James Young Simpson. Ether was worshipped in Boston where it was the anesthetic used when anesthetic surgery was first demonstrated to the world in 1846. Chloroform, ether's most serious competitor, was hated by these “Etherites.”
Storer is even better known for the “physicians’ crusade against abortion” which he started and carried out with the assistance of the American Medical Association. Most people today are surprised to learn that induced abortion was common among married Protestant women in the United States in the 1850s. The “physicians’ crusade” led to the passage of laws in almost every state that protected the fetus from conception. These physicians, and the new abortion laws they worked to create, taught people that the fetus was alive prior to “quickening,” the point in the pregnancy when movements of the fetus were first felt by the woman. The “physicians’ crusade” led to a drop in induced abortion, according to Dr. James Mohr who wrote a history of abortion in America. Even a small increase in the number of children surviving to birth has dramatic effects on the makeup of succeeding generations and many people today can thank Horatio Storer for one or more of their ancestors.
Horatio also is recognized for his discovery of new species of fish and for other contributions to natural science. His natural history interests are well illustrated in the three journals that make up this book. The first describes a trip to Russia in 1847 and continues with the events of Horatio's sophomore and junior years at Harvard College when he was a key member, curator, and officer of the Harvard Natural History Society. In the second journal, Horatio describes his trip to Labrador in 1849 with the country's foremost comparative anatomist, Dr. Jeffries Wyman, in search of natural history specimens. The voyage was patterned after an 1833 voyage to Labrador by John James Audubon who was a friend of Horatio's father, David Humphreys Storer, and of Horatio's uncle, Thomas Mayo Brewer. Horatio in later years described how he learned of Audubon's Labrador exploits from Audubon himself. This probably occurred on September 21, 1836 when Audubon visited the Storer household.
Horatio's final journal, documents his first year of medical training at the Harvard Medical School and at the Tremont Street Medical School which provided medical instruction when the Harvard Medical School was not in session. As the journal shows, natural history investigations were still important to Horatio and he became a member of the prestigious Boston Society of Natural History during this period. He was quickly elected Curator of Herpetology and the large duties associated with this curatorship may have been one reason that Horatio ended his medical school journal two years before he received the M.D.
These journals are significant for the information they provide about Horatio Robinson Storer's scientific development which was key to the many medical and surgical advances he made during his life. The journals also document activities of Asa Gray, Louis Agassiz, Jeffries Wyman, and the other important scientists that Horatio worked with, often on a daily basis.
Although the journals are presented in chronological order, readers may wish to begin with the Labrador journal. The adventures of Horatio and his companions on the sloop, J. Sawyer, are well narrated by Horatio Storer. His enjoyable tale should painlessly increase the reader's curiosity about Horatio, his brother Frank, Dr. Jeffries Wyman, and Captain Nathaniel Atwood. As a result, Horatio's accounts of the somewhat less exciting events of the trip to Russia, at Harvard College, and in medical school should become more interesting, since brother Frank, Dr. Wyman, and Captain Atwood are key players in Horatio's life before and after Labrador. Readers with a primary interest in the history of medicine or the history of medical education may prefer to begin with the medical school journal. Some footnotes are repeated in the different journals to aid the reader who begins “out of sequence.”
Readers interested in an account of other portions of the very full life of Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer should peruse Champion of Women and the Unborn: Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D., published by Science History Publications/USA.
JOURNAL OF HORATIO ROBINSON STORER'S
TRIP TO RUSSIA IN 1847
May 18th Left home today with Frank for Russia.
Tuesday. Sailed from the stream about 6 o'clock in the morning. Came into collision with 2 schooners, and carried away part of the cabin roof—the Captain mended it with some painted canvass. Wind N.E. Came to anchor in the Roads and remained there all day and the following night. We were both sick nearly all day.
Wednesday. Sailed from the roads and lost sight of Cape Cod during the day. A great many Coasters in sight, bound down east. Sick to day.
Thursday Foggy—Sick again. Begin to see Stormy Petrels.
Friday Foggy again—Sick again—Saw a school of Porpoises, and several sea birds.
Saturday Sick again.
Sunday We begin to vomit less but are very weak—have no desire to do anything or to move about
Monday We each took a cathartic pill, which operated pretty thoroughly. Caught a Medusa [jellyfish] and put it into Goodby's solution. Saw some little dobchicks [small diving water birds].
Tuesday [May 25] Shot a stormy petrel but could not secure it. Saw several of the ‘Orthagoriscus mola'.
From this date [May 25] to June 13th I have not felt able to write. I have been rather worse off than Frank, having vomited daily the first eighteen days of the voyage and even now the twenty seventh day I do not feel right yet. I have had what the Captain calls the erysipelas very badly on my hands for 10 or 12 days, but is it now drying up; Frank has also had a slight eruption. We have both for a fortnight or more been exceedingly troubled with excessive pain in our feet both day and night; it is much worse than chilblains or anything else I ever had, and nothing seems to relieve it.
We have had all sorts of weather; one or two days of dead calm, during which we caught many species of beautiful ‘Medusae’ which I immersed in ‘Goodbys solution’ but in the course of a day or two they melted away and smelt so intolerably that the Captain was forced to heave them overboard. I noticed that many of them contained within their folds small crustacea, some of which we preserved in spirit; we also secured several strange little creatures which we also bottled. We had 2 or 3 days of very squally weather.
We have seen but few vessels, and those few have not been near enough to speak. We passed a barrel covered with barnacles, (probably from some of the lost provision ships).
Several days since we lost sight of the stormy petrels, and now we begin to see gulls, gannets, etc. Today, the 13th of June I shot several ducks and divers with my rifle but couldn't get them.
14th Last night a Grebe flew on board and I made a preparation of his skin. Frank shot a gull. We passed a mast that appeared to have been some time in the water. The weather is so light that we have not yet reached Fair Isle.
Thursday 17th Came in sight of the Orkneys, but were becalmed all day.
Friday 18th Caught a large Pollack this morning by trailing. Several fishing smacks sent boats to us with fish—of one we got a fine fat halibut, and of the other some cod; All the men asked in return was “anything you please,” except one boats crew who wanted a bottle of rum. The Captain sent them off with nothing. The others he gave salt beef and Pork and sea bread. One of them also had an empty pork barrel which tumbled overboard and out astern, but they soon picked it up.
These boats which they call ‘cutters’ are all sloop rigged and not very fast sailors, although very staunch sea boats. They were rigged for trailing, using whelks for bait, which appear much like our cockles. Some of their sails were tanned like leather, to keep off mildew. The men are fine hearty looking fellows, and are very civil; one of them said that he knew the Chusan was American, the Yankees all have such white sails, made of Cotton duck—he also said that there had been no American vessel here before us this year. Bose, the dog, did not appear to like them any better than he did the pilot when we sailed from Boston and growled rather gruffly at them.
Today we passed North Ronaldshay [sic], the last of the islands that we shall see. It looked very prettily although there was a fog, as it is in some places very high and the houses as far as I could see were on the high land; there is also a high beacon on a point running out into the sea, which was formerly a light house, but has been discontinued as it was sometimes mistaken for another light house behind it. We have just passed two Norwegian vessels, a brig and a galliot, returning from the Isle of Man whither they have been with a load of wood. The galliot is the first we have seen.
Saturday 19th Today as we were becalmed, the Bark Chusan was turned into a fishing smack, and the spoils were, two large Cod and a big Pollack. The Cod were much lighter than those we got at the Orkneys, almost white—the following are the dimensions of the Pollack—
Length 34 inches | Fin Rays
Gr. depth 6 in. | 1st D[orsal]. 15— 2nd D. 23— 3rd D. 21
Length of head 7 1/2 in. | P[ectoral]. 18— V[entral]. 6—
Distance between eyes 2 1/4 in. | 1st A[nal]. 25— 2nd A. 20
Diameter of eye 1 1/2 in. | Caudal]. 42
Passed this evening a Dutch jigger.
Monday 21st Passed a Dutch Galliot—stern like the bows, and having also a little bowsprit—carrying five or six jibs.
Sunday 27th For the last three days we have been beating about in the Cattegat with a head wind, and this morning arrived at Elsineur in company with a large fleet belonging to various nations. The view as we sailed up to the roads was beautiful. As we entered the Sound, on the Swedish side was first seen the Knoll composed of lofty mountains; and then on each side here and there beautiful villages and groves, with now and then an ancient fortification or a stately windmill—; at length we saw ahead, Cronburg Castle and the masts of six Russian men of war, three frigates, and three line of battle ships, and on the other side, Helsinborg. On rounding the castle, we anchored close to the Paulina, which had left Boston Harbor in company with us and which we had not seen till we entered the Cattegat together. A waterboat then took us on shore—we had to go close to the battery, where we saw a regiment of soldiers dressing themselves after a bath, to enter the dock which is formed by a mole, built of large stones, running out some distance; here are a great many waterboats, butter boats from Holstein, &c. We first had to stop at the Pratique or Quarantine office where we delivered our passports, which were carried by a soldier to be inspected by the police and to be signed by the Russian Consul; here the Captain was questioned and received a ticket certifying that he had been at this office; then we crossed the dock to an office where the business corresponding to that of our boarding officer is transacted, where the Captain gave up the aforementioned ticket and the manifest of his cargo. We then passed into the street and we[re] instantly surrounded by a crowd of the Captain's acquaintance, shaking hands with him and overwhelming him with questions. We then went to Mr Fenwicks and took breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. F.; the coffee was delicious and the bread wasn't bad by any means; adjacent to the counting room is a large refreshment room, where a large table filled with all sorts of wine and liqueurs, where the Captains drink, smoke and converse. After breakfast, under the guidance of Mr. Raven, we started for a walk. I was very much struck by everybody's being at work, although it was Sunday. We were soon met by the vegetable women who treated us very cordially! shaking hands and seeming very glad to see us, and talking away very fast—indeed the Yankees are all the go here, and meet with more attention than any other foreigners. We then went to the Consul's and shipped a man in place of one who we left here, and also a cabin boy, from Copenhagen, and who couldn't speak any English. Thence to a shoemakers to be measured for boots—here were several journeyman hard at work; before we went the old fellow sent for a bottle of delicious wine and glasses and we pledged each other; he to our pleasant voyage, and we to his good boots; thence to the butchers, where a man had just slaughtered an ox, and was flaying him. We then started for the Castle—on the way we met a family party going into the country in a large open carriage with six or eight seats, each holding two, and drawn by four horses. The castle is well worth going to see—it was built in 1584 and remains in its ancient magnificence; surrounded by moats, with drawbridge, portcullis &c—beneath the castle and moats are places of retreat for the garrison in time of need; every wheres are statues and heads and carving. At the great gate in niches stand on each side Neptune and Mercury, and all around heathen gods and goddesses, priests and nuns, saints and kings and queens and many others—we went up to the splendid chapel which is ornamented throughout with the ancient carving—it contains a beautiful altar piece of sculptured marble and a famous scripture painting; the windows would easily hold a large family party as the walls are 15 or 20 feet thick; the Castle is still garrisoned and fortified very strongly—as we passed through the gateway I gathered some beautiful snails on the walls. Hence we went to Hamlet's garden which is a most beautiful spot, filled with lofty trees. It is very large, the garden being situated below, filled with fruit trees and beautiful flowers, and then rising in terraces till at the summit of the hill we come to Hamlet's grave—it is marked by a simple pillar, overshadowed by ancient, moss grown trees—here was Hamlet's castle a thousand years ago and Mr Raven said that whenever anyone digs a foot or two in the ground that they find a great many pieces of brick &c. There is a large palace in the garden belonging to an old baroness—the grounds are beautifully laid out and ornamented with statues—it is open to every one but yet no one touches any thing and I saw several fields of grain on the sides of the road without any fence—whilst in the garden a stork came sailing over our heads very near to us. On our way back we saw a beautiful swan on a little pond near the street. The houses are all roofed with large curved earthen tiles—the windows are formed of very large panes of glass fastened in by strips of lead instead of putty; they do not open up and down as ours do, but open outwards on hinges—; everything in the houses is kept as neat as a pin—the floors scrubbed white, the windows all hung with muslim curtains and beautiful flowers in them—the windows are so near the ground that we could look in and notice it all. I saw more pretty women than I ever saw in so short a time in my life and every woman I saw was dressed very neatly and with a great deal of taste; they wear very pretty caps and neckhand'chiefs made of lace, but I couldn't help laughing at their shoes—I don't see how they keep them on as they have high heels and no backs. I met one old lady who looked so tidy and neat that I said “How nice that old woman looks.” “Yes” said Mr Raven, “but she is in the poor house!” Nearly all the houses have double mirrors before their windows to reflect what is going on in the street. The numbers of birds that there are here astonished me as much as anything—on every house, sparrows build under the tiles and swallows under the eaves and in the corners of the windows, and a constant chatter, chatter and twitter, twitter going on all the time. We saw a great many kinds of birds, which appeared very strange to me, inasmuch as they were all different from ours—and Frank every now and then would exclaim, “I wonder what kind of bird that is?”, “What do you suppose that bird is?” Mr R. told me that there was no Museum here, and that he knew of no one who cared anything for Natural History but the apothecary, and he couldn't speak English; by the bye, we went into his shop for some medicine for one of the crew; just inside of the door is a railing shutting off the rest of the shop, between which and the door the purchasers stand. We went into the bakers to get some bread—here they have loaves of brown bread (very good too) measuring from a foot and a half to two feet stamped with the bakers initials—all the jumbles and those cakes that are perforated with a hole, they have strung on strings and hung up like dried apples. Mr Honoratus Lorentzen, one of Mr Fenwick's firm, took us to his rooms for a little while—he keeps bachelor's hall and had flowers &c in profusion—he played some beautiful tunes for us on the piano. We went on board one of the butter boats and the Captain bought butter, bologna sausages, eggs, &c. When we came away, our vegetable woman gave the Captain a large bouquet of flowers, and a paper of cake to us and came down to the boat to see us off, bringing a bottle of delicious cream. I sent a letter home through Mr. Fenwick.
I never was so delighted with a place, or enjoyed myself so much in so short a time, as I did at Elsineur, and I came near acceding to Frank's proposition of staying there and not going to St Petersburg. When we reached the Chusan, the Captain said the he felt more homesick if possible at leaving Elsineur than he did at leaving home; I perfectly agreed with him. Here we took a pilot through the sound, and as the wind was fair had to relinquish our project of going to Copenhagen. Beautiful views again till night.
Monday 28th Today we passed the island of Bornholm and shore boats came off to us; bought six fowls and 5 ducks for coffee and old hawsers; and some small cod.
Sunday 4th We have now entered the gulf of Finland and are constantly passing islands and light houses. The wind is increasing very fast.
5th Anchored in Cronstadt roads in the afternoon in company with a large fleet; it blows so strong that the boat from the guard ship will not visit us. The Paulina arrived last night. Threw overboard our gunpowder.
6th Blew a gale all day—last night we broke adrift but got another anchor out without doing any damage—lost an anchor and 50 fathoms of chain cable. A Prussian brig that was compelled to come back after having sailed, went ashore. A Russian sloop of war came in.
Wed. 7th Hauled up alongside of the mole after having been visited by the guard ship boat. Officers then came on board and the hatches were sealed up—we then entered the dock. Mr Rowe, the consular agent's clerk, then took charge of us and attended to our passports for us, but we had to go to the Custom house and be searched, where our letters of introduction were taken from us and put in the post; and to several other public offices, to answer questions, &c. Stopped and spent the night at Stewart's hotel, which is a very good house. Found Captains Smith of the Brig Corinth, Percival of the Paulina and Melcher of the Gilbert. Took tea at Mr. Peterson's, the sail maker. Went in the evening to the Summer garden, which is the great place of resort, and where is to be heard a beautiful band of music. Every where we were offered coffee or a bottle of wine. Called on Mr Sparrow, Mr Brandt's agent. Went over [to] the vegetable market.
8th Wait at Cronstadt on account of our baggage, and find that we cannot carry it with us, but that it must go up to Petersburgh in a lighter. Went to the Marine Arsenal—where a splendid array of instruments of war is displayed—here are banners taken from the Swedes and Turks and many guns, cannon, &c of the time of Peter the Great—there was a full length statue of him in a square just outside the arsenal. Today I received a pack of letters from home much to my great joy.
Frid. 9th Today we come up to St. P. in the steamer Becta (Vesta). I had my first ride in a drosky. Took a boat over to Mr. Brandts, who sent me to Mrs Benson's hotel. Here I found Mr Burrows and family and Mr Landford and lady from America. I delivered my letter of introduction to Mr Ropes and took tea with himself, his brother Mr Joseph Ropes and cousin Mr George Prince of Salem—Mr Whistler is out of town. The hotel is situated on the left bank of the river and has a beautiful view; steamers, lighters and various craft passing by all the time. Wrote letters to Mother and Gus. Hay.
10th Took breakfast with Mr and Mrs Gellibrand at Mr Ropes. Presented my letters to Mr Charles Cramer last evening as he was making a call here. Went with Mrs Gellibrand in her carriage to her country seat on Count Lapanikof's estate on the road to Peterhoff. It is a beautiful place and the ride to it is very pleasant—we passed through the triumphal arch dedicated to Constantine by Alexander. We were introduced to Mr Merrilies and family, English, who live close by Mr. G. I collected some fresh water shells, of which great numbers abound, as there is so much stagnant water about. Visited Count['s] dairy and saw some magnificent cows—all around were models of famous cattle, &c.
Sun. 11th Attended religious service; the English people who lived around came and a sermon was read. In the afternoon went botanizing with Miss Elizabeth Ropes and Mr Prince. In the evening came in with Mr P. in a calash—on the road passed a large number of soldiers conveying provisions to the camp; which often comprises 100,000 men. Found Captain Smith [“of the Brig Corinth”] at the Hotel.
12th Called on Mr Cramer and found that Count Keyserling is out of town. Mr C. gave me a letter to Professor Ménétriés of the Acad. of Arts and Scien., and to a gentleman connected with the Mining Corps. Got my baggage out of the Custom House. Walked about town, seeing Peter the Great's equestrian statue, &c. Called on Mr Ropes, played bagatelle with Frank and was introduced to Mr Ingersoll.
13th Went to the Kasan Cathedral and was present at some high service—the church was crowded and there were many officers of high rank present. The altar and railings are of silver and precious stones are in great profusion. The people here are of the Greek Church and do not believe in a purgatory—after church when the high priest was going to his carriage, which was a splendid equipage, the people thronged around to kiss his hand. Nearly all the people carried wax tapers to stick in around the different shrines on account of deceased friends. In the evening there was a grand display of fireworks at Elaghin Island and I walked over about 5 miles, to see the immense concourse of equipages and people, but came away before the display commenced.
14th I went to see Professor Menetries [sic] but he was not in—I however delivered my letter to Dr. Ruprecht who speaks very bad English. Captain Jenkins came up from Cronstadt and spent the day. I went to the Hermitage in the Imperial Winter Palace, but was not admitted as I had a frock, and not a dress coat on—thence I went to the Summer garden and sauntered around it till I got tired. This morning we rode about in a drosky, attending to our passports. We visited the fish market on the other side of the river, where the fish are all kept alive in large boats. Mr Cramer sent me a ticket to the Mint.
15th Today we were both confined to the house, and Frank has got the dysentery caused by some qvass that we drank at the Summer gardens yesterday—this is the common drink of the Russians and tastes very much like villianous [sic] root beer. Mr Joseph Ropes came in the evening and administered some rhubarb and laudanum to Frank, behaving very kindly.
16th I went to the Corps des Mines, carrying a note to Mo[nsieur] Néfédief, the chief man there, from Mr Cramer; but as he was not there I gave it to Mr C's cousin, who spoke English and was very civil to me. I saw many fossils, and beautiful gems; the finest that have yet been found in the dominions—I also saw an enormous mass of pure gold, and many specimens of cutlery, and models of mines and machines, &c. When I came from that I saw the fisherman catch two enormous salmon. I found that Capt. Jenkins had arrived here, and I went with him to the Kasan Cathedral again and under the guidance of a soldier examined the ‘sanctum sanctorum'. There were many beautiful paintings and some of them were being copied—we also saw the keys of the cities that have surrendered to Russia, and many captured flags. Thence we went to the Exchange, where all the merchants and brokers congregate. Frank has had a doctor to see him today.
17th This morning I went over to the Botanic gardens in a drosky, and having delivered my letter to Dr Fischer[,] visited the Green houses, which were so spacious and filled with so many different perfumes that after going through them, I went off from exhaustion without walking round in the gardens themselves at all. I really came near fainting several times the odor was so strong. The houses were adapted for all kinds of plants—in one would be plants which require much heat and a dry soil—others contain enormous rock works covered with mosses, lichens and fungi; in another very large one were ferns and brakes and plants which require much water—many of these in full bloom were suspended in baskets of cork. Here were also little miniature ponds of water filled with different aquatic plants. The houses all joined each other and were arranged something in this form. There are I think nearly fifty of them, many being several hundred feet in length—each containing its separate class of plants—one heaths, another geraniums, palms, myrtles, fuchsias and so on. I saw a fuchsia more than 20 feet high in full bloom, but the most beautiful of all was a house filled with enormous trees, oranges, magnolias and tropical monsters. The building is very high and you ascend by galleries till you can look down upon them and it seems like looking upon a forest from a balloon. As I walked through these halls of Flora, every little while I had to stoop to avoid contact with clusters of passion flowers and other climbing plants that hung from above—; to heighten the effect here and there is an old stump covered with ivy—indeed, every thing is arranged so tastefully that one would never imagine that he was in a green house, but rather in the woods or some other wild and ‘natural’ place. Dr Fischer was unable to accompany me as ‘one of his dear friends had gone to the other world and he must accompany him to the threshold', or, in other words, go to his funeral—however, before he went he showed me the fructifying of the flower of the Vanilla by artificial means. He speaks very good English and I was much pleased with him. Frank was not well enough to go out, so he did not accompany me. I saw Mr Cramer at his house today. His father is nearly dead of old age.
Sun 18th I was invited to Mr Brandt's country seat but as it rained, and Frank could not go, I thought it best to stay at home. I blistered my heel so badly several days since by too much walking, that I am quite lame and have to wear my right shoe in a ‘slipshod’ manner. Capt Jenkins was up today and went out of town with Captain Choate of Portland.
19th Frank is better today, and went with me to the Museum of the Acad. A. & S. In the first place we went into apartments containing a wax figure of Peter the Great and a multitude of objects belonging to, and made by, him. Among others were his horse and dogs stuffed. Thence we went into another building in which was the Museum of Nat. Hist. Having given up our umbrella to a soldier at the door, who gave us a ticket with its number on it, we went up with the large crowd and entered the first room. In this room are contained the bird's eggs which comprise many species but with the exception of ‘Uria troile’ none of them American. The rest of the room was filled with Crustacea, all beautifully preserved. Then came two or three rooms containing reptiles and fishes; some of the fishes were dried but most were in spirits. I noticed a case filled with bottles containing butterflies, from the larva upwards and some shells with the animals in them. There were however very few shells or insects to be seen, and they are probably in drawers or some other safe place. A good many minerals, here I saw a large Aerolite [meteorite], but nothing to be compared to the ‘Corps des Mines'. A splendid collection of birds, but few American species however, with the exception of the Bald Eagle and a few others which came from Kamptschatka. There were three rooms Dr Wyman would have liked to see, filled with skeletons innumerable. Here I saw the famous Siberian Antediluvian Elephant which is here considered as the largest ‘Mammoth’ ever found, but they evidently never saw our Yankee ones, as this one is side by side with the skeleton of an elephant ‘hujus saeculi,’ and is no larger. Finally, there is a large room containing different Chinese, Siberian, Tartar, &c objects—dresses, implements, &c. I had a very bad headache and consequently made a rather hasty stay, only two hours, although the Museum is only open on Monday. The Botanical Museum is not to be seen.
20th This morning we went out shopping to the Russian Bazaar on the Nevsky Perspective, the largest street in the city—it is aptly called the Bazaar for here are nearly all the shops of all kinds; all with samples of their different attractions to be seen in front. I had some difficulty getting along here as every where else—I could only point to a thing and make signs for them to write down its price—and then offer them just one half of what they ask—and the shopkeepers, like the drosky drivers and every one else here, honest fellows as they are, usually take the money and make their best bow, perfectly contented. We also went to the fruit and poultry market; and really it was a perfect babel—birds of all kinds, parrots, monkeys, rabbits, hares, guinea pigs, squirrels and thousands of geese, turkeys, ducks, hens and chickens, all of them, at least those that had voices loud enough, singing out as loud as they could—it was really a most extraordinary concert and worth coming a good ways to hear. I saw several very strange breed of hens.
21st Today I had a letter from Dr Fischer, accompanied by seeds of the vegetables which are peculiar to Russia. We went to the Hermitage and saw the beautiful collections of paintings.
Thurs. 22nd This morning we went with Mr Prince to Alexandrosky, the establishment of Messrs Eastwick, Wining and Harrison, the American contractors for the locomotives and cars on the Moscow Railroad. We visited all the works and saw the cars in every stage of construction, all the wood and iron work of every kind being done here. We spent the night and were much pleased with their families. Here I saw for the first time dancing bears—they were four in number, old and very savage each having his lips very much torn by previous escapes. In the afternoon we took a trip in the Emperor's little steamer, which had been there for the purpose of repair. This is only about 20 feet long and is kept for the use of the Emperor alone, and is a perfect little beauty and goes like a bird. Each of these gentlemen's (Messr's E W & H) children can converse readily in 4 different languages—viz; Russ. French, English and German. Mr. Ropes’ wife and family have arrived.
Fri. 23rd Saw Mr Cramer and found him quite unwell; he showed me a letter from Dr C. T. Jackson, accompanied by specimens of ore, to the Emperor Nicholas. Received a letter and box of live plants directed to Prof. Gray from Prof. Fischer. Called on Mr Ropes—Mr and Mrs Fishler who came here to Mrs Benson's a day or two ago entered into conversation with me, and I found that they had been several times to Sharon Springs and were well acquainted with Grandfather Brewer's family and Mr F. knew Uncle Robert. Wrote home by tomorrow's mail.
Sat—24th This evening I took a Russian steam bath—the most pleasant bath I ever took in my life. I first went into a kind of parlor dressing room, arranged as much like a drawing room as anything else, with large mirrors and several sofas and couches; here having undressed, a man came in bringing in his hands a bunch of twigs and a wisp of what appeared to be the inner bark of some tree—he likewise stripped and ushered me into the bath room—this at first seemed very warm, but he taking water from some fascets—showered me with it, at first cold but by degrees hotter and hotter till it had probably reached boiling heat. I found that the water although so hot was not at all unpleasant and that after this I bore the heat of the room very well—next I laid down on a wooden couch with a bunch of the twigs steeped in water for my pillow—he then taking soap and the handful of bark strips scrubbed me down most energetically, till as he grew ‘warm with the subject’ (and no wonder when the room was at least up to 90 degrees) he rolled me over and over like a ball scrubbing and rubbing all the time till I was covered with a lather several inches deep—then having again showered me with warm water he led me up a flight of steps to the top of the room—here I laid down again on another wooden bedstead with a twig pillow soaked this time in boiling water—then he threw a pail of water into the ‘peetch’ (the large tile heating apparatus) filled with hot stones, and the room was instantly filled with a cloud of steam. I of course was in the hottest region (near the ceiling), but to my astonishment found no difficulty in bearing the intense heat, or in breathing, as I had expected—then he took a bunch of these twigs and alternately rubbing me and beating me I was soon in a most profuse perspiration—now I experienced the most delightful sensations and could have remained in this steam engine boiler all night—after I had been in the room about half an hour, though it seemed much less, he took me down from my elevated position and by pouring water over me at first very hot and then by degrees colder I was at last cooled down so as to venture out doors without taking cold. I was very sorry that I had put off taking a bath till just before we sailed, as I was so agreeably disappointed in it—I had been led to expect a much more severe experiment from those who had been too much afraid to undergo it. Frank did not go with me as he had gone out to Mr. Gellibrand's to bid them goodbye. I sent letters home by this mail to Mother and Uncle Woodbury.
Sun—25th This afternoon after Frank had returned from Mr Gellibrands we went with Captain Jenkins to Sascaselli and Pavalosky in the rail road cars. At S[ascaselli]. is an imperial palace but as we stopped but a short time we only visited the gardens where we saw some black and white swans—and the imperial arsenal. This contains a collection of all kinds of armor and military equipments from Greek and Roman helmets and shields down to the latest inventions of revolving rifles and pistols—many of the specimens were of gold and inlaid with jewels. There were many presents to the Emperor from Sultans and Khans, horse cloths studded with diamonds and golden bits and spurs. In the largest room were a circle of figures in armor sitting on splendid stuffed war horses. Thence we went to P[avalosky]. which is 25 1/4 versts from St. P., about 19 miles—here is the termination of the rail road and the chief attraction consists of splendid walks and gardens to which the people from the city flock in crowds—we got back to the hotel about 12 o'clock—on the way Captain Jenkins drunken isvortsiche (drosky driver) ran into and smashed another drosky. Yesterday afternoon Mr Cramer sent me a box of fossils for myself and some scientific works for gentlemen at home and I sent him my bird's eggs as he had kindly offered to exchange them for me when the people who have collections come into town next winter.
Mon. 26th This morning I took breakfast with the Ropes’ and departed from St. Petersburg in the 9 o'clock boat for Cronstadt. Here I had to deliver our passports to Mr Rowe, the consuls clerk to have them signed by the proper officers and have my baggage cleared at the custom house and at last my ‘tribulations and trials’ among these confounded officers were ended. If we had come as we ought with our names on the crew list, instead of under the head of passengers all this trouble and expense, and the last item is by no means small, would have been avoided. Every officer that I have come in contact with, I have had to give a fee or else I should never have got through my business at all. I found here Captains Melcher of the Gilbert, Smith of the Corinth, Choate of the Sylphide, Philbrook of the Bangor, Doane of the Clinton, and Upshur of the Mason, and Larrabee of the Arkansas.
Tues. 27th Today I got letters from home. This morning some Prussian girls came to the hotel singing Yankee songs, and he [sic] had a concert of about an hours duration with plenty of applause.
Wednes 29th [sic] I have had a very sore foot for a week having blistered it at St P. I ought to lay by for several days but shall try to keep about till we sail. Today the Bark Gilbert sailed.
Thurs. 30th This noon we left the mole and got under weigh for Boston. Passed the guard ship about 2 o'clock. At about 6 we spoke the Barque Lion of Bath, Capt Henry, over 80 days from Cuba. This evening we passed the Russian Baltic fleet.
Sun 1st Saw a seal near the vessel—caught several sticklebacks.
Mon. 2nd & Tues. 3rd Calms every day.
Wednesd. 4th Slight breezes during the day.
Thurs. 5th Today we passed Gottland. All hands called up to catch a rat that had hidden in a barrel of vegetables.
Fri. 6th Stiff breeze today—beating everything that comes in sight.
Sat 7th Passed Bornholm last night. This morning close to Sweden, off Falstrebo.
Sun 8th Took a pilot off Drago early in the morning and reached Elsineur about noon—just as we came to anchor the Bark Tom Corwin of Scituate, Capt. Manson, chartered by Uncle Robert, 30 days from Boston, anchored close to us. She brought packages of Newspapers to me from home. By today's mail I sent a letter home, to the care of Brandt in London and another offering to exchange eggs to Herrn Dr M. Poulsen of Copenhagen with a letter of introduction given me by Mr Cramer. I found at Mr Fenwicks a letter from home. Mr F. and his wife had gone to Germany, but the rest of the firm made good his place in welcoming us—we took dinner with them, and in the afternoon as there was a head wind, we rode with Mr Raven to Flensburg, where is a royal palace on the banks of a beautiful lake. We had a delightful drive, the country being covered with grain, buckwheat and flax—there are no fences, all the cattle, sheep and horses being tethered. They have an enormous breed of hogs here which are turned out to feed like the cattle. Most of the farm houses are thatched and many of them, from the straw having become old, are covered with moss and parasitical plants—on many of the houses we saw storks standing on their enormous nests—we passed through the Kings forest, a fine piece of wood land kept expressly for the sovereign to hunt in—in different places on the road we passed several monuments in commemoration of battles fought there—when we got to the royal palace we had a delightful strole through the gardens, where amongst other curiosities we saw currant bushes trained up high like grape vines and loaded with fruit—by the way all the time we were ashore we disposed of delicious cherries and gooseberries with a perfect relish. I picked up some very large slugs, several inches long, and saw some beautiful lizards, but had to leave them as I had nothing to put them in. Thence we went to an inn and had a supper—very nice indeed—among other delicacies we had shrimps, and such eggs—my mouth waters at the thought—whilst here we saw the Kings sister go from the palace in a coach and four. I was much struck with the difference every where manifest between the tastes shown by these Danes and the Russians, and between the people themselves—here the palace and all the buildings are entirely different—very little regard being paid to outside beauty, but rather to the comfort within—whereas in Russia even most of the barns[,] without they are log huts, present Grecian columns and finished stucco work—here the houses are either covered with tiles or thatched; there the roofs are all sheet iron. I noticed it also in the statues which in both countries abound in the gardens—there they are usually of a warlike nature—here they were either mythological or old Norwegian or Danish characters from the king down to the fisherman; or else they are strictly of an agricultural nature, consisting of bunches of vegetables, fruits or flowers, beautifully carved in marble. We returned late at night, having before we left drank from an excellent spring near the lake, which I suppose possesses some peculiar recommendation as the water was handed to us by little children and many people were waiting for their turn to be served. We passed the night at Briggs’ hotel, where we had very nice rooms and beds, much better, indeed than at Petersburgh.
Mon—9th Took breakfast at Mr Fenwicks, and got under weigh at about 11 o'clock—laid in a stock of gunpowder and Jamaica rum for specimens—got our cork soled boots yesterday at the shoemakers. Messrs Harrison, Lorentzen, and Raven of Fenwick's house showed us every attention while here, much outdoing in that respect certain Petersburgh folks. I took the helm from the time we hoisted anchor till 5 or 6 miles below Cronberg Castle.
Sept. 1st Yesterday is the first day that has been pleasant enough to do any thing since I wrote last [August 9]. Since then I have been seasick about every day, and we have had nothing but head winds all the time. At the outset we had a gale of wind and had to go nearly to Iceland having passed within sight of the Faroe Islands. One day last week, the 26th, we had another tremendous gale of wind and hurricane which lasted all night—it blew so hard that we had to lay to all the time and the fore topsail was split to pieces—we shipped several heavy seas and Frank and I had to go down below into the cook's apartments, as it was not safe to remain in our berths—in the course of the night I had a very severe nose bleed whilst trying to vomit. We however escaped, with the exception of a hen and a duck that were drowned, as the water was often on a level with the top of the rail on deck—at one time the mate was missing and they were afraid he was overboard, but he proved to be down below. We are now not far from the Western Islands, much to the southward of our course. Off the Naze of Norway the Captain caught a mackerel and at another time a ‘Prionotus’ [sea robin], both of which I have preserved. I caught a great many small fish that were playing round the enormous ‘Medusae’ off the Shetland Islands. We have seen several whales and two passed right under the bows—also several schools of black fish, on whom I expended several rifle bullets, and porpoises, besides what were probably skipjacks. I saw the largest flock of gulls I have ever seen and tried to kill one, but didn't succeed. In the Cattegat Frank had the luck to see several beautiful water spouts one morning before I was up. Our feet aches that troubled us on our passage out are again returning, as bad as ever.
4th Last night the Captain caught a very large rat that had been making free with the bread barrel, and had made a nest of shreds of canvas in Dr Grays box of plants. Early in the morning several albicores were near the vessel and scattering the squids in all directions. It is now quite calm—today a large school of beautiful red fish made their appearance and followed the vessel for several days until they were left behind, when a fair wind came up—we tried to catch them in various ways, but didn't make out to—they wouldn't bite at a hook, and the Captain hove the grainse into one but the prongs came out, the fish was so soft, although it killed him—it was too bad as the sight of fresh fish so near at hand was exceedingly tantalizing. We saw something in sight today which looked like a boat but on nearer acquaintance proved to be an empty barrel; it was harpooned to see what vessel it came from, but there was no name on it. Several vessels in sight. Hooked up some gulf weed.
11th Saw a very large school of black fish and either a large shark or sword fish.
12th Passed a dead stormy petrel.
13th Had the log hove—so as to see the operation of finding out a vessel's speed.
14th A large grampus [dolphin] close alongside, but he wouldn't wait till I loaded my rifle. Very foggy—got soundings in 50 fathoms—at noon all of a sudden found ourselves close in to Newfoundland, heading right on to shore—land high and covered with trees—saw one house near the breakers—it looked very pleasant ashore the sun shining brightly, while a very short distance from the land, the fog was so dense that the rigging was running a steady stream of water.
15th Thick fog all day, poking along and sounding every little while without knowing exactly where we are.
16th Sun out again.
17th A grampus along side again.
18th Spoke the sch'r Bride of Beverly, 5 weeks out with 11,500 fish. Several whales playing around the vessel.
20th Saw the coast of Nova Scotia.
21st A heavy gale. Passed a bundle of shingles. A large hawk lit on the gaff.
22nd Gale continuing. Bose had a severe fit from colic, but was relieved by a good dose of castor oil. Many little birds round the vessel.
23d Saw the High Land of Cape Cod. An Owl and a wild Pigeon lit on board. The latter of which Frank shot. Passed a good deal of floating lumber. Towards evening tacked and stood over towards Cape Ann.
24th [September] Took a good breeze in the night, and passed Boston Light at an early hour in the morning. Anchored off Rowe's Wharf about 1/2 past 7 o'clock, and we were soon on shore again; and in a very short time we were at home once more—at home, and I hope never again to be so long away from it. I found Mother and Robert very low with the dysentery; I think I never saw Robert look so sick before. After we had seen Father and Mother, we went to see Uncle John Brewer and Grandfather. Grandmother at first did not recognize us, but was glad enough when she did. Aunt Lizzie I think looks much better than she was when I left. Amongst the news I find that Mr Sayles is dead. This week has been the session of the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists. I went into the meeting, and met, among others, [Louis Rodolphe] Agassiz, [Edward] Desor, [Count Francois] Pourtales, Drs [Jeffries] Wyman, [Augustus A.] Gould, [Samuel] Cabot, [Samuel L.] Abbott, Messrs [James E.] Teschemacher, Zadock Thompson, [William O.] Ayres and [Denison] Olmstead.
HARVARD COLLEGE: 1847-1849
25th [September] Hermann Warner and Gus Hay came to see me. Dined with Mrs Coe at the Marlboro. Was present at the conclusion of the session of Geologists and Naturalists. Saw Mr Frothingham [Unitarian minister]. Called on Mr John Warren. Had my hair cut.
S—26th Went to church all day. Called to see Nat Hayward. Wrote to Mr Winslow of Cleveland, Ohio about Oology. Capt Melcher [“of the Gilbert”] sat with me at and we had a sermon about the sea.
27th Came out to Cambridge—saw Mr Everett. He will ask the Faculty about my case tonight and I shall know tomorrow. Got my baggage cleared at the Custom House. Saw Mr Childs.
28th Saw Mr Everett and began my studies today. Omnibus 15c. Walked with Gus.
29th Saw Dr Harris for a few minutes. Went to Dr Gray's to see his microscope.
30th Called on Aunt Jane and Mrs Mayo tonight with Gus. Matches 2c
Oct 1st Called on Mr Fred Knapp. He is to be ordained at Brookline next Wednesday.
2nd Walked in with Gus. Called with him on Aunt Sarah. Bought Campbells Rhetoric, Gray's Botany, Crabb's Synonymes, Ramshores Latin Synonymes, Gil Blas, Laportes Grammar and Reader. Bought a new Bookshelf cum Gustavo. Went to the Athenaeum with him. Nat Hayward gave me some eggs last night that he had got for me last summer, among which were the Roseate Grosbeak and Virginian Rail. Called with Frank on Mr Ropes and went on board the vessel. Called on Uncle Gardner [Brewer (1806-1857)]. Walked out with Gus in the evening intending to spend tomorrow in Cambridge. 1/2 of Bookshelf 68c—Toll 2c Books $7.50
S 3rd Went to church all day in the Chapel. Dr Francis preached. Wrote to Mr Charles D Brownell of Hartford about Oology.
4th Got Bowditchs Tables, Terence, Isocrates and 3 small blank books at the College Bookstore and had them charged. Called with Gus on Dr Gray to carry him his list of plants from St. Petersburgh. Postage letter to Brownell 5 c.
5th Had 1/2 a cord of hard wood and a foot of pine put in. Saw Dr J. Wyman after Botany recitation.
6th Called on [classmate Ephraim] Ball and Frank Browne and Nat. Henry Barrett of Concord [both from Class of 1851].
7th Went to walk with Gus in the direction of East Cambridge.
8th Had a letter from Father. Aunt Frances called but I was not in.
9th Walked in with Gus and Hermann Warner. The Chusan sailed today for the Azores. I walked over to East Boston with Frank to see Messrs Agassiz and Desor and got a box of eggs containing 52 spec. which I did not have before that came in the last steamer from Neufchatel, Switzerland. Walked out with Gus in the evening. Toll 2c Ferry 6c.
S 10th Went to church all day in the chapel. Dr Francis in the morning. Mr [blank space] in the afternoon. Went to walk with Gus.
11th [no entry]
12th Our class made quite a disturbance in the chapel tonight by stamping &c—
13th [no entry]
14th Called on [classmate Hales Wallace] Suter. Had a severe nose-bleed
15th Received a letter from Father. Wrote to Mr Knapp. Called on Gus Lowell and he gave me all his eggs. Postage 5c.
16th Walked in with [classmates] Warner and [Oscar Fitzalan] Parker. Handed in a Theme on Stoicism. Called on Mrs J. H. Abbott and Aunt Goddard. Met Mrs W. W. G. in the street. Called also on Mrs Wales and Louisa Merriam but they were out. Saw Old John Warren and old Mann. The latter gave me a Night Heron's egg and a cedar-birds egg. Took dinner with Mr Collett, an English gentleman at Uncle Roberts. Gave that Uria I got on the voyage to Dr Cabot. Had a very severe nose bleed. Walked out with Gus. Oil 62 1/2 c. Toll 2c
S—17th Went to Church at the chapel all day—Dr Francis in the morning. Mr Bartol in the afternoon. Went to walk with Messrs Warren and Russell.
18th Called on Mr Dixwell. Walked with Hermann Warner past Fresh Pond.
19th Exhibition day—attended the Performances. Deturs given out. I had none on account of absence.
20th Count de Laporte sent my section away from recitation for disorderly conduct.
21st [no entry]
22d Received a letter from Father. Wrote to Mr Cramer and Dr Robinson.
23d Walked in with Hermann Warner. Went with him and Father to the new rooms of the Nat. Hist. Soc. Called on Mr Emerson and Mr Frothingham but they were both out. Walked out with Gus in the evening. Toll 3c
S 24th Went to Church all day in the Chapel. Mr Coolidge of Boston presented. Called on Mr Folson but he was out. Rain storm.
25th Went to walk with Gus. Carried a note, about spending Sunday in town, to the President.
26th Went to walk with Gus. Catalogue 6 1/4 c
27th Went to walk with Gus.
28th Went to walk with Gus. Letter from Dr Robinson 5c.
29th Went to walk with Gus.
30th Walked in with Gus—Had a carpenter work on one of the windows—Called on Mr Folsom at the Athenaeum. Went to see Uncle Robert. Called on Uncle John and Mrs Sayles. Walked a little ways with Mother. Toll 1c Had a neck cloth ch'd at Warren's 62 1/2 c
1 ream of paper ch at Mussey's $1.75 Cane mended 6 1/4 c
S 31st Went to Church all day. Mr. Frothingham in the morning; Mr. Waterston in the afternoon. Gus sat with me in the afternoon. Walked round the Common with Nat. Hayward. Walked out with Gus. Left a Russia bowl at Aunt Jane's. Toll 1c.
Nov 1st Carpenter 25c
2nd Walked with Gus
3d Walked with Gus
4th Tonight Gus went home sick. Walked to Somerville with Hermann J. [Warner.]
5th Went to a party at Cousin Mary Goddards. Walked out with Clark, senior. Walked in with Gam. Toll 3c
6th Walked in alone. Called on Dr Gould and Mrs Coe. Handed in a theme “Comparing Rebecca of Ivanhoe with Susanna of Apoer.” Toll 1c
S. 7th Went to Church all day—Mr Frothingham preached—Curtis Coe sat with us in the afternoon. Walked out with [classmate] W[illiam] S[ydney] Thayer and [John Jefferson] Glover, junior. Went to see Gus—found him pretty sick. Called on Uncle Robert. A little snow tonight.
8th [no entry]
9th Walked over to Somerville with Hermann J. Letter from Knapp 5c.
10th Walked across the river with Hermann.
11th Walked towards Brighton with H J W[arner] and J H T[hayer].
12th Walked across the river with Hermann.
13th Walked into town after dinner—Went to Dr Keep's with Hermann Warner and made an engagement with him for the 17th & 18th of January. Went to see Gus—found him better. The Tom Corwin has just got home from Russia.
S 14th Went to Church all day—Mr Frothingham preached. Called on Gus. Rode out after church in the afternoon with Hermann J. in his carry-all.
15th Walked with Herman [sic] across the river.
17th Walked with Hermann.
18th Walked with Hermann and J H T. Had a miss in Botany. Made up my Terence to Dr Beck. Received a letter from Clarence A Brownell of Hartford about bird's eggs. He sent a box containing Mockingbird, Common Tern, Spotted Tattler, Short billed Marsh wren, Cow bunting and Crow Blackbird's eggs.
19th Have been chosen into the Nat. Hist Society. Went to its meeting this evening. Chase, the President, read a lecture on Conchology. Frank Emerson, Junior was chosen in.
20th Walked in with Hermann. Went with Gus to see a beautiful little fawn at his house, just arrived from Mexico. Went with them up to the Nat. Hist. rooms. Called with Hermann on Old John Warren. Called on Mrs C. H. Parker. Took tea with Gus. Got my watch at Regally's. Called on Dr Cabot. Toll 1c Watch fixed $2 (Father paid.)
S 21st Went to Church all day. Mr Ware of Cambridgeport preached. Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
22 [no entry]
23 Walked in this evening to the city with Gus. Toll 1c
24 Severe storm. Went to Banvard's Panorama of the Mississippi.
25 Thanksgiving day—Went to church and heard Mr Frothingham preach. Dined at home, played blind-mans buff &c. Spent the evening at Grandfather's.
26 Went a gunning with Frank to Chelsea beach—he shot a shore-lark and I picked up a black duck and brought home. Shot 16c Toll, ferry &c 7c.
27 Skeletonized the duck. Walked with Gus.
S 28 Had a tooth filled in the morning by Dr Keep. Went to church in the afternoon and Gus. sat with me. Mr Frothingham preached. Walked out with Gus. before tea. Toll 1c.
29 Very cold. Went to the Gymnasium.
30 Called on Mr Warren.
Dec 1st Went to the Gymnasium
2nd [no entry]
3rd [no entry]
4th Handed in a Theme “Florence could not help wondering when the House would begin to be a home.” Dombey & Son Chap XXXVI Toll 1c Extinguisher 10c Called on Aunt Goddard and Aunt Sarah.
S 5th Went to Mr Waterston's in the morning. Mr Lothrop preached at Mr Frothingham's in the afternoon. Toll 1c
6th Walked with Gus to Somerville.
7th Walked in town with a very bad tooth ache; saw Dr Harwood but got no relief. Saw Mr Ayres. The Chusan has got back from Fayal. Rode out in the Omnibus. Father p'd. Toll 1c Omnibus 15c
8th Walked with Gus.
9th Walked with Gus.
10th [no entry]
11th Had my hair cut. Saw Capt. Jenkins for a few moments. Went down to the Chusan and saw Mr Morgan and Frederick. Went to Uncle Roberts counting room. Called on Mr Joseph Ropes but he was out. Toll 1c. Father p'd
S 12th Went to Church all day. Mr Edes of Plymouth in the morning and Mr Frothingham in the afternoon. Toll 1c. Father p'd.
Called on Mr Lovering for a few minutes.
13th Walked with Gus to the bridge.
14th Walked with [classmate James Fowler] Lyman to the bridge.
15th Walked with Gus to the bridge. Called on Aunt Jane and Mrs Mayo.
16th Walked with Gus to the bridge. Went to the Lyceum and heard a satire on Intolerance by Epes Sargent. Snow storm, first of the season. Lyceum 12 cts
17th Spent part of the evening at Dr Plympton's, dancing &c. Then went to a meeting of the Nat. Hist. Society where I read a lecture on Oology, on which a new department was formed of this branch and I was chosen curator. I then presented specimens of our Syngnathus Peckianus Storer, of the S[yngnathus]. typhle Lin. from England and [of] the S[yngnathus]. lumbriciformis of Jenyns that I procured in the Baltic Sea this summer, and read a paper on them. Snow storm again.
18th Declaimed this morning, the death of Samson, by Milton. Walked in with Gus. Captain Attwood [sic] I found at [our] home, and went with him up to the [Boston] Nat. Hist Soc. rooms. Toll 1c. Had a polishing brush & bunch of wicks charged at Upham's.
S 19th Went to church all day. Mr Frothingham preached. Described with Father a new species of Motella [fish of some type] from Provincetown. Toll 1c.
20th Walked with Gus.
21st [no entry]
22d [no entry]
23d [no entry]
24th Spent this evening, Christmas Eve, at Dr Plimptons, in dancing, acting charades &c. Snow storm
25th Walked in immediately after prayers this morning, in a snow storm. Saw Capt. Jenkins; he sails to day for Genoa. Called on Mrs Coe. Toll 1c.
S 26th Went to Church all day; Mr Frothingham preached; a Christmas sermon in the morning and a last of the year sermon in the afternoon. Called on Mr G[eorge]. B. Emerson. Bitter cold to day. Toll 1c.
27th Walked with Gus. Oil 40 c.
30th Went to the Lyceum and heard a lecture from Prof. Felton on the expatriation of the French from Acadia. Very good. Had a letter from Mr Winslow of Cleveland Ohio on Oology. Lyceum 12 1/2 cts.
31st Bowled for an hour with Messrs Warren and Russell. Rolling [blank] c, wh. Warren pd.
A Happy New Year.
Jany 1st Called on Misses M. E. and Carry Brewer, found them out; on Misses Louisa Merriam, Mary Parker and Harriet Sayles and found them in. Had divers presents given me; neck hand'ch'fs from Aunt Katie, embroidered holder from Aunt Lizzie, watch case from Aunt Carry, last 2 vols. of H. Ware's Works from Grandma, Memorandum tablets from Mother, skates from Aunt Sarah and embroidered slippers from Abby and Mary. Received a box of eggs from Mr R K Winslow of Cleveland, Ohio, amongst which were quite a number I did not have before. Handed in a Theme on “The Character of Mr. Burchell in the Vicar of Wakefield.” Walked in with Henry Thayer. Toll 1c. Box by express $1.00 wh. father paid
S 2d Went to Church all day; Mr Frothingham preached in the morning Mr Young in the afternoon. Toll 1c.
3d Wrote to Mr F. N. Knapp of Brookline. Walked with Gus. Letter 5c.
4th Walked with Gus. Called on Lea and Warren, law students.
5th Walked with Gus.
6th Called on Frisbie Hoar. Went in to a party at Uncle Robert's. Had a very pleasant time. Was introduced to divers gentlemen and ladies. Rather dark walking out. Toll 2c.
7th Spent part of the evening with Aunts Jane Brewer and Mayo. Walked with Gus.
8th Grandfather gave me $10 for a New Years Present and my monthly $2.00. Got a box of eggs ready to sent to Cleveland. Wrote to Mr Winslow.
9th Had a bad headache and on this account combined with the bad weather I staid at home from church in the morning. Went in the afternoon, Mr Frothingham preached. Called on Dr Gould and got a ticket to Agassiz’ lectures for Gus. Father walked with me to the bridge. Toll 1c
10th Examined by the Committee in Greek. Called with Gus on Mr Dixwell and spent part of the evening—spent the rest with Dr Plimptons family. Read a couple of hours in the Library.
11th Spent 2 hours in the Library. Walked in with Gus and [classmate] Loammi [Ware] and they went to Agassiz’ lecture with me; The course is on Ichthyology, and this first lecture was a summary of his lectures given last winter. Thermometer 10 degrees below zero. Examined in Rhetoric. Toll 2c.
12th Skated an hour or two on Fresh Pond with Gus. Read in the Library. Spent the evening at Dr Plympton's. Examined in Mathematics.
13th Examined in Latin. Walked in town with [classmate Frederick Augustus] Gibbs. Here ends this term. Went this evening with Abby and Mary to see a Dr Sunderland perform mesmeric [hypnotism] experiments &c—a most blasphemous humbug. Saw Mr Tappan Toll 1c. G. paid. Lecture 12 1/2 c Father p'd.
14 Arranged my European eggs. Father wrote to Dr [Henry] Wheatland of Salem about eggs and I to Mr John L. Hayes of Bangor, now at Katahdin Iron Works, Brownsville, Me. Went with father to Agassiz’ second lecture; the general form and external characteristics of fishes.
15th Finished packing the box of eggs for Switzerland. Etherized a mouse so that I carried it about the house in my hand before it came to. Went to Dr Sunderland's mesmeric lecture again this evening with Captain Atwood and saw various antics performed that I did not see before. Made an agreement to go to Provincetown tomorrow morning. Lecture 12 1/2 c. Father pd.
Jan. 16 S Early in the morning embarked on board the smack J. Sawyer bound for the Cape, and arrived late in the afternoon; was not sea-sick.
17th It was so windy and boisterous that the fishermen were unable to go out today. Looked over Cod's stomachs on the beach and found some Nuculas [small marine bivalve shells]. With the Captain I found some little fish. Examined the entrails of several goose-fish.
18th No fish day today.
19th Rough again today. The Captain however went on to the ledge. Caught about seventy fish and came back after dragging his anchor and breaking it.
20th Rough again today. Went to a spelling match at the school room tonight with the Captain and got chose in on one of the sides. Beat them all. Got a specimen of Motella candacuta [fish of some type] from Mr Herman Smith.
21st Walked along the beach as far as Wood End with the Captain and got some specimens of agatized wood and a piece of coral that Mr Herman Smith had picked up for me, and then went to the school to see how things went on. Picked up several sea birds on the beach. Too rough to fish today.
22d Went over to town across the flats with the Captain and staid there nearly all day. Took dinner at Lothrop's hotel; found the old fellow as jolly as ever and full of ‘music.’ Found also a young Dr Eastman there, a graduate of old Harvard, who is teaching singing school. When we walked back, after ascending several of the hills in the town, it was pretty high tide, and we were compelled to wade through the “run.” This evening I wrote to Oscar F. Parker, a classmate of mine who is teaching school at Wellfleet. Too rough for fishing.
S 23d A snow storm today by way of variety. I went to Church in the morning and head Mr Doane, the schoolmaster preach. Did not venture out in the afternoon.
24th Obtained some shells on the beach and two living specimens of the Crenilabrus uninotatus of Dekay [fish of the wrasse family]. Letter to Parker 5 c.
25th Skeletonized the head of a Snuffer, Phoecoena globiceps, and some sea gulls. Came home in the afternoon in a schooner, whose skipper I came home with when down here before, one Capt. Smith. Started about 4 o'clock P.M; got home about 1 at night. Saw a hump backed whale. I have had a very pleasant time all things considered; it is true the weather was so boisterous that I was unable to go out fishing with Capt. Atwood which was the chief object of my expedition, and that I was sorry that I had not carried a gun with me as I found shore birds and sea fowl so plenty. Fare 75c.
26th Went to Dr Keeps and had several teeth filled. Called on Gus. Hay. Spent the evening at Uncle Robert's with the Misses Pritchard of Concord and Mr Mackay.
27th Dr Keep filled all the rest of my defective teeth but one, which Dr Harwood filled inasmuch as Dr K. dug it out and would not fill it till Monday and I should have caught cold. Received a box of eggs from Mr Charles Cramer of St. Petersburg. Called on Mr Joseph Ropes and George Jeffries. Wrote to Dr Wheatland of Salem. Letter to Dr W. 5c. Pater p'd
28th Went to Salem with Frank. Found Dick Wheatland at the cars waiting for me. Examined with the Dr [Henry Wheatland] the collections of the Nat. Hist. Soc. and the East Indian Museum. Got an egg of the Charadrius vociferus [written above is] Totanus macularius!!. He gave me for father a sand eel from the stomach of a grand bank cod and a remora also from the banks. Took dinner with the Dr. Saw Dr Robinson, Mr John Stone and wife, Mrs Webb and Mrs Lucy Robinson. Went also to the Athenaeum. Went to Agassiz lecture in the evening. Sam Barrett called but I was away. Fare 80 c. Father p'd
29th Went with Frank to see Prof. Agassiz. Carried over a box of eggs to go to Switzerland. Went with Mary up to Papanti's to look on in the evening. Called on Mrs Edward Cabot, but could not see her as she was unwell. Called on Uncle Robert. Went to the Athenaeum. Ferry 6c Father p'd.
30th Went to Mr Clarks church in the morning with Aunt Frances and Mrs Goddard. In the afternoon walked out to Cambridge and called on Mrs Plympton, Mrs Austin and Fanny Bradford. Toll 2c.
31st Went up to Concord in the morning. Practiced firing my rifle at a mark. Eph. Ball spent part of the evening with me. Called on Mrs Hoar. Mills carriage charged. Card 50 c
Febru. 1st Tremendous snow storm and I staid in the house nearly all day.
2d Went out gunning with Charles Barrett. We went as far as Acton although the snow was up to my hips. I got a shot at nothing but small birds though Charlie shot a rabbit and a partridge. Went to the Lyceum in the evening and heard Mr Felton's lecture on the Acadians for the second time. Vide Dec. 30th. Called on Nathan Henry Barrett.
[The next three pages were cut from notebook with no explanation given. This material covered February 3 to the last day of February 1848 which were the last three-and-one-half weeks of the vacation. A check of Warner's diaries for this period indicated no reported interactions with Horatio.]
March 1st The first day of Spring once more; lovely theoretically, but not practically in this instance. In the evening I called on [James Morss] Chase of my class; I have been deterred from calling on him hitherto by a formidable specimen of the genus Canis, which however is now removed. Chase is a pretty good sort of a fellow but rather odd; he was born and brought up at Hopkinton near Concord, N.H., and has been here only while preparing for College. He dresses rather strangely, brushing his hair, which is rather long, directly back from his freckled countenance and wearing his cloak after the style of the Roman Toga. Thence I went to see Aunts Jane Brewer, and Mayo, who inhabit the other part of the house; they both seemed well and very glad to see me.
2d Today feels no more like Spring than yesterday; cold, raw and disagreeable. Took a walk with Gus in the evening to the ‘Port. Saw an effusion relating to War, which pleased me, and I therefore ‘translated’ it.
“Boys and girls,
And women, that would groan to see a child
Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war,
The best amusement for a morning meal!
The poor wretch who has learnt his only prayers
From curses, who knows scarcely words enough
To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father,
Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
And technical in victories and defeats,
And all our dainty terms for fratricide;
Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongue,
Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which
We join no feeling and attach no form!
As if the soldier died without a wound;
As if the fibres of their godlike frames
Were gored without a pang; as if the wretch
Who fell in battle doing bloody deeds,
Passed off to Heaven, translated, and not killed—
As though he had no wife to pine for him,
No God to judge him!”
I call this very good but do not know who wrote it. If some of our “heroes” would only accede to its doctrine. This bloody war would be ended and much expense and many lives spared.
3d A heavy snow storm throughout the day. Stratton's bill $4.38
4th Walked in with [classmate] Simeon Borden. Called with Mother on Mrs Merriam. Received a letter from Mr [James Hamilton] Couper, near Darien, Ga., who tells me that he as sent a box of eggs to me. Went down to Drake's in Cornhill to endeavor to make him take back a book that he had cheated me in, but I did not succeed. Dined at Grandfathers; he gave me my monthly $2.00. Called on Hermann Warner and spent an hour with his family. Called in the evening on Mrs. Coe. Dropped in with Frank on old John Warren. Thursday last was Roberts birth day, and to day I gave him a little rattle with a suitable note. Rattle 4c. Toll 1c
S. 5th Heard Mr Frothingham deliver an eulogy on John Quincy Adams in the morning; in the afternoon I felt rather indisposed, so staid at home and wrote a theme. Toll 1c.
6th Walked with Gus to the ‘Port. [Ephraim] Ball called on us in the evening.
7th Saw Mr Everett with reference to spending Sabbaths at home.
8th Very bad walking.
9th Severe rain storm which carried away the remaining snow.
10th Spent an hour at Dr Plympton's in the evening. Went to a meeting of the Nat. Hist. Society; presented a rare spider, Epeira fasciata[,] and the skull and feet of the Alanda alpestris, Shore lark; made a few additional remarks on the Syngnathus Peckianus, calling attention to a specimen in the cabinet of the society, with the young still in the abdominal pouch; some shells and minerals were presented and Mr Cooke exhibited specimens of the new substance Gutta Percha and delivered a short lecture upon it. Chose officers for the ensuing term; President, Cooke of Senior—Vice President, Whipple of the Junior; Corresponding Sec. Lorin of Senior and Rec. Sec. Follen of Junior Class. Funeral procession of John Quincy Adams today but I could not go in town on account of a recitation.
11th My eyes are so bad that I have not been able to study during the evenings of this week, so I staid out here till late this afternoon and studied. Last night there was a large fire in Washington St between Cornhill and State St. I handed in a theme this morning; “give instances of weakness in the Characters of Great Men.” Took John Hunter for my subject. Went to Papanti's with Herman Warner; called on George Jeffries. Had my umbrella mended. Walked in with Gus. Toll 1c. Umbrella mended 25c.
S 12th Went over to East Boston in the morning to see Agassiz and Desor; examined the development of the eggs of star-fishes through the microscope and attended divine service in his house, a Swiss clergyman officiating. Went to Church in the afternoon and heard Dr Francis preach. Walked out with Gus. Spent part of the evening with Mrs Bradford. Toll 1c. Ferry 6c.
13th My eyes ache so badly in the evenings that I cannot study; I spent part of the evening with Gus at Dr Plymptons.
14th Called to see Dr [Morrill] Wyman and ask when his brother will get back from Richmond.
15th Called on Mr Dixwell to ask some questions about Frank.
16th Pretty cold; thermometer down to zero at daybreak. [Classmate Francis Charles] Foster called on us this evening.
March 17th Spent the evening at Dr Plympton's with Gus. Had a very pleasant time.
18th Staid at my room with Gus. till after four o'clock P.M. and in consequence of studying too hard I had a severe attack of nose-bleed. Walked in with Gus. Spent part of the evening at Uncle John Brewer's. News from France of the Revolution and abdication of Louis Philippe. Toll 1c.
S. 19th Quite unwell today. Went to Church in the morning and heard Mr Frothingham preach a very good sermon. Walked out with Gus. Spent part of the evening with Mrs Bradford. Toll 1c.
20th This morning while at breakfast I received a call from Frank accompanied by Curtis Coe of Centre Harbor [New Hampshire] whom I was very glad do see. Today several of my class came to recitation in a state of intoxication. This is the most beautiful day this year so far; thermometer 110 degrees in the sun.
21st Received a letter from Rev. F. N. Knapp of Brookline about eggs. Walked with Gus.
23d J[oseph]. H[enry]. Thayer called on us in the evening.
24th Henry Thayer called again. Attended [Harvard] Nat. Hist. Soc. meeting tonight; was chosen Curator of Ichthyology; was appointed on a Committee with Alex Hale of the Senior Class and Lawrence of the Junior to enquire into the expediency of allowing members of the Scientific School the use of specimens belonging to the Society; on another Committee with Hale to investigate the state of the birds belonging to the Soc. It was voted to publish a Catalogue. I was appointed to report on some 250 shells presented at the last meeting by E. J. Young and I handed them over to Hermann Warner to identify the species. I presented them with specimens of Motella glanca [fish of some type] from the Shetland Islands, Echeneis remora [fish that attaches itself to sharks] and Ammodytes Americanus [sand lance] from the Banks of Newfoundland. Carried to my room all the dried fishes prepared by Prof. Peck in 1790 to identify. Bolles of my class has run away.
25th Walked in with [classmates] Simeon Borden and [Everett] Banfield. Conferred with Ogden the taxydermist about the bird skins belonging to the Nat. Hist. Soc., and he undertook to set up the whole (about 90) for $15.00. Went out to Brookline with Mother and Robert to see Rev. Mr Knapp; he was not at home but had left for me some eggs that he had brought down from Walpole N.H. I received today per Ship James Calder a box containing 222 eggs several of which were new to me from Mr. J. Hamilton Couper of Darien Geo. Wrote a letter of thanks to Mr Couper. Called on Mrs Towle of Centre Harbor and Miss Ball of Concord, Mass. Was measured at Earles for a trim sack [“frock coat” is crossed out] ($10.00) and vest. Saw Dr. Jeffries Wyman who has just got back from Richmond, Va. Georgian eggs freight 50c Father pd. Letter to Couper 10c Father pd. Toll 1c.
S. 26th Studied although it is Sunday from 6 A. M. till noon, on a theme. Heard Mr Frothingham preach in the afternoon. Walked out with Gus. before supper. Toll 1c.
27th Received a letter and pocket book from Cousin Fanny by Mr Lea of Cincinnati. The frogs began their music last night.
28th [no entry]
29th Walked with Gus. Saw Dr Jeffries Wyman. Swallows came.
30th Walked with Gus and Gibbes. A rule made at Dr Plymptons that whoever is late at meals shall write some poetry.
March 31st Spent part of the evening at Mr Folson's. Walked with Gus.
April 1st Stayed out here till 1/2 past 5 P.M. Handed in a theme—“Describe an Athenian Philosopher lecturing to his disciples.” “Socrates.” Wrote a long letter to Cousin Fanny. Walked in with Gus. Called on Ann Towle at Mrs Coe's. Also on Cooke, Pres. of Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. with reference to the Annual lecturer. Our Maltese cat has presented the family with a pair of black kittens this week. Received a letter from Mrs Gellibrand of St. Petersburgh. Toll 1c. Vest at Earle's charged. Grandpa gave me $2.00 Kid gloves charged $1.00
S 2d Wrote to Agassiz. Sent some Russian seeds to old Mr Lenter of Centre Harbor. Went to Church all day. Mr F. preached in the morning. Mr Gannett in the afternoon. Called on Drs Gould and H. J. Bigelow and Mr. Cooke. Ascertained several species of fish and shells for Harv. N. H. Soc. John Coe called and looked over my collection of eggs. Walked out with Gus. and [classmate Charles Sprague] Lincoln. Called on Hermann Warner. Toll 1c.
3d Walked with Gus. Saw Mr Everett with respect to Prof. Agassiz’ lectures and concluded not to attend them.
4th Called on Dr Harris and ascertained the names of several species of insects that Aunt Katie gave me for the Nat. Hist. Soc. Oil 35c.
5th As tomorrow is Fast day I went in in the afternoon. Went with Captain Atwood to a meeting of the Nat. Hist. Soc. Saw Drs Cabot, Wyman, Bacon and several others. Mr Agassiz read a paper on some new species of Annelidae. Toll 1c Lead 4c Shoes Chd.
6th Fast day. Heard Mr Frothingham preach; sermon on the present French Revolution and the war. Wrote to Rev. Mr Knapp of Brookline; and to Messrs John A Lowell and J. E. Teschemacher sending these last gentlemen some Russian vegetable seeds to introduce into this Country viz. Early Northern Cabbage, Murom Cucumber, Black Georgian Barley and Flat. Finnish Turnip. Walked out with Gus. Called on Aunt Jane. Toll 1 c.
7th Meeting of Harvard Nat Hist Soc. tonight. Mr Cooke, the President, delivered a lecture on the Caleotype and exhibited specimens of pictures prepared by its means. At the last meeting I was put upon two Committees—the one to report on the bird skins belonging to the Society and the other to inquire into the expediency of admitting the Scientific School Students as Corresponding members. On the former question, it was reported that I had seen Mr Ogden the taxydermist and that the would mount the skins (82 in number) for $15.00—it was therefore determined that he do it and I am to attend to it. On the other question, I as the only member of the Committee present, reported in favor of their admission—a discussion thereupon arose, and finally it was decided in the affirmative. I reported on some shells that had been referred to me at the last meeting, given by Mr E. J. Young; They were, Strombus tricornis, S. vittatus, S. pugilis, S. pseudo-scorpio, Conus ebraeus, C. asper, Cypraea Mauritiana, C. lurida, C. lynx, C. Arabica, Olivia [Oliva] utriculus, O. flammulata, Columbella fulgurans, Turritella dimidiata, Cardium fimbriatum, Arca granosa, Harpa ventricosa and Murex tribulus. I also reported on specimens of Exocetus volitans [flying fish], Trichiurus lepturus [Ribbon fish] and Balistes monoceros [triggerfish] from the Society's lumber room and presented specimens of Hydrargira nigro fasciata [fish of some type] from Stratford, Conn. I also presented the following insects given my by Aunt Katie and ascertained by Dr. Harris—Endryas grata, Areoda lanigera, Tortrix pomonella [leaf-rolling moth], 2 species of Geometra [Geometridae], one of Notodonta [Notodontidae] and one of Crambus. In as much as there is difficulty in procuring an annual lecturer this year, I proposed Mr [James] Hall, the State Geologist of New York, and he is therefore to be invited. I ordered a gallon of New England Rum at the Apothecary's and had it charged to the Society. Spent part of the evening at Dr Plympton's. Paid my admission fee to the Society. Fee $2.00 Cork 1c.
8th Walked in after dinner with Gus. Sent in the birds belonging to the Harv Nat. Hist. Soc. and gave directions to Ogden respecting them. Sent packages of Russia seeds to Messrs. G. B. Emerson, S. Donner, and to Grandfather. Described with Father [large gap—probably a fish]. Had a new set of buttons put onto my great coat. Found Mother with the dysentery.
Toll 1c. Boot mended 4c.
S 9th Went to Mr Waterston's (himself preaching) in the morning, and to Mr Frothinghams (Octavius preaching) in the afternoon. Gus sat with me.
10th Worked in my garden this afternoon, digging.
11th Dug in garden. Walked with Gus. Got my last month's marks for the theme on the character of Mr Burchell I got 47.
12th Walked with Gus. Raked over garden. Walked alone to Fresh Pond.
13th I received a letter of thanks from Mr John A Lowell for those Russian vegetable seeds that I sent him.
14th Received a letter from Father, that was put into the mail a fortnight ago but was delayed on account of the badly written superscription. Walked in tonight with Gus. Toll 1c.
15th Mr Everett delivered his Eulogy on John Quincy Adams. I walked in the procession and after engaging in a slight row, in which all the students took part at the doors of Faneuil Hall, I made out to get in and hear him. Received a letter of thanks for Russian seeds from Mr George B. Emerson. Called on and saw Mrs Edward Cabot. Called at Uncle Roberts. Saw Ogden about bird skins.
S 16th Went with Abby to the Swedenborgian Church in Bowdoin St in the morning; to Mr Frothinghams in the afternoon. Gus sat with me. Gus walked out with me at night. I called on Dr Gould and ascertained the names of some of the Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. shells. I also called with Father on Dr Bethune. Toll 1c.
17th Walked with Gus. Called on Dr Harris and found out some bugs. He gave me his pamphlet on the Sphinges.
18 Walked with Gus.
19th Severe snow storm. The poor birds at a loss for food.
20th This evening went to the wedding party of Mrs Bacon quondam Amelia Jeffries at Mrs Manning's with Gus. Called on Mr Whittemore, Post Master.
21st Walked with Gus. Meeting of Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. Present about 30 students and Professors Wyman and Horsford and Proctor Cones. Cooke, the President in the chair. A good many donations were given; Dr Wyman gave a description of the habits of the White Ants of Africa and exhibited specimens. I presented specimens of the following insects: Harpalus caliginosus from Cambridge, Sphinx Hylaeus given me by Aunt Katie and Lucanus capreolus [stag beetle] given me by Carry Brewer. Reported on these fishes, Malthe stellata [probably the batfish] and Chelmon rostratus [butterflyfish]. Reported on these shells given by Mr. E. J. Young: Eburna areolata, Cypraea ocellata, [Cypraea] exanthema, [Cypraea] erosa, [Cypraea] turdus, [Cypraea] helveola [helvola], [Cypraea] asellus, [Cypraea] vitellus, Mitra episcopalis, Strombus gibberulus, Buccinum undatum [type of whelk], Marginella longivaricosa, Turritella duplicata, Terebra maculata, Columbella bifasciata, Nerita polita, [Nerita] albicilla, Purpura Capillus, Bulla striata, Cardium adule [edule: cockle shell], Cytherea concentrica, and Lucina Jamaicensis. Read a paper on the adhesive disk of the Echeneis Remora. Went down to the river with Gus and saw the boat clubs start.
April 22d Worked in my garden the greater part of the day, laying out the beds and getting ready to plant seeds. Caught several beetles which I carried to Dr Harris to ascertain; among them were Harpalus bicolor and Elater bevicomis which is the female of E[later]. cylindriformis. I killed them by the fumes of brimstone matches stuck into the cork of a glass jar. [With] Gus walked over to Mt. Benedict to visit the nuns of the convent. Captain Atwood I saw this evening, he brought up a specimen of the large so called “sea spider.” The Houstonia cerulea or Fairy Flax is in bloom. Shingles 10 c Toll 1c.
S 23d Walked over to East Boston before church with Capt. Atwood to see Desor. Called on Mr Teschemacher and had the satisfaction to see some of my Russian seeds started. Heard Mr Frothingham both A. M. and P. M. Walked out with Gus. Ferry 9c. Toll 1c
24th Walked with Gus up beyond Porter's. Blue violet and Trefoil in bloom.
25th Walked with Gus.
26th Walked with Gus to Somerville as far as the Medford Turnpike.
27th Walked with Gus across the river.
28th Walked with Gus. Found some anemones and white violets. Also found a robin's egg.
29th Went and got some wild flowers. Worked in my garden. Walked in alone late in the afternoon. Saw Ogden, the taxydermist about bird skins. called on Mrs Coe. Toll 1c.
April 30th S Went to church all day—Mr Frothingham preached. Curtis Coe of Centre Harbor sat with me in the afternoon and took dinner with us. He drove me out to Cambridge after church, going round through Brookline and Brighton. Spent an hour with Professor Agassiz.
May 1st Walked with Gus. Henry Thayer spent the evening with us. Caught a large specimen of Dytiscus compar [water beetle] with my dip net. Attended a special meeting of the Nat. Hist. Soc. to choose in associate members from the Scientific School.
2nd Exhibition day. Abby and Mary came out although it rained. The oration was by Ed. Young and was excellent. Called on Dr Harris to ascertain some insects. Had a note from Dr Wyman. Spent part of the evening down stairs with Misses Sophia Ripley and Bartlett of Concord.
3d Walked with Gus
4th Called on Dr Harris to identify insects. Walked with Gus.
5th Meeting of the Harv. N. H. Soc. Mr Agassiz exhibited some new animals just found by him in the salt marshes—viz—a species of Actaeon and Cantops Harvardianus. Dr Keller of the Laboratory exhibited three microscopes with specimens. Several minerals were presented. The birds have come back from Ogden and a case has been ordered. I presented some insects—Dytiscus compar [aquatic beetles], Chrysomela pulebra (male and female) and Hista (sp?). I also exhibited specimens living of Phryganea [caddice flies] caught in the ditches back of Divinity Hall. Saw Mr F. N. Knapp of Brookline.
May 6th Staid out till late in the afternoon. Planted seeds and dug in my garden. Got some wild flowers for Abby. Toll 1c.
S 7th Went to church all day. Mr Frothingham preached in the morning; unknown in the afternoon. Walked out with Gus. Toll 2c. Grandfather $2.00.
8th Walked with Gus. Paid Dr Plympton 10 weeks board $27.50.
9th Walked with Gus. Took Dabrells Greek Lectures, 2 vols. from the Library.
10th Dudleian Lecture this afternoon by Mr Gilman of Charleston S. C. Subject “Revealed Religion.”
11th Gus gave me Wilsons Trigonometry. I bought and gave him “Conic Sections” 125 years old. Book 38c.
12th [no entry]
13th Frank came out and we went with Gus on a birds egging expedition entirely round Fresh Pond. Took 3 nests of different ground sparrows (12 eggs in all but several broke in blowing, incubation was so far advanced) Got a good many wild flowers but forgot to take them into town. I was pretty well duck'd in a shower after my walk. Got measured at Earle's for a pair of pants. Toll 2c
S 14th Went to Church all day and heard Mr Frothingham. Called on Nat Hayward and while there saw Bob Bliss who is at Yale College. Toll 1c
15th Walked with [classmates Samuel Orlando] Mead and [Simeon] Borden. Sent in some wild flowers by Gus.
16th Saw Mr Everett about my elective studies for the ensuing year; I shall take Latin and Mathematics. Walked with Gus about 8 miles, over to Brighton and Watertown; found several flowers which I had not seen before.
17th Went into town in the afternoon to hear Father deliver an address before the Nat. Hist. Soc. Carried in a good many wild flowers. Toll 2c.
18th Walked with Gus. Spent the evening with Mr Agassiz and Mr Leconte of New York.
19th Meeting of the Harv. Nat. Hist Soc. Dr Wyman exhibited specimens of and explained the anatomy of the poison apparatus of the rattle-snake. He also exhibited specimens of different larvae. Mr Whittemore the Post Master presented specimens of Pupa Gouldii [probably a land snail] and Helix minuta [land snail] found by him in a heap of stones back of University Hall. I presented them with a book of Sea Weeds from Aunt Elizabeth, and Heolocanthus tricolor and ___________ radiata from myself; also reported on Oliva guttata [shell] one of Mr Youngs donations. I arranged the dried fishes and some botanical specimens in one of the new cases.
20th Frank came out with the dog and we walked up beyond Fresh Pond but found nothing extraordinary. Went in about 6 o'clock. Handed in a theme, “Confiscation of the Property of a dethroned and exiled Monarch,” took Louis Philippe. Toll 2c
S 21st Went to Mr Frothinghams in the morning and in the afternoon I heard Mr Coolidge at Mr Gannetts. Called on Messrs G. B. Emerson, Shurtleff, Gould, Cabot, John Reynolds, J. W. & S. L. Abbot to invite them to our Nat. Hist. Address this week. Walked out in a pouring shower in my oil clothes. Carried a Menobranchus maculatus [large aquatic salamander] to Agassiz from Lake Champlain. Toll 1c.
22d I declaimed this morning from Henry V. Act IV. Scene III. Gum Tragacanth 1 c. Matches 1c.
23d Shoe mended 5c.
24th This evening the Annual Address was delivered before the Harv. Nat. Hist. Society by Mr James Hall, the State Geologist of New York. The weather was unpleasant, and therefore but few came out from Boston. His subject was Geology, with particular reference to the Paleozoic and Carboniferous strata, and was highly scientific and exceedingly abstruse. I had long talks with Mr Hall and Prof. Horsford.
25th [no entry]
26th [no entry]
27th I walked alone (as Frank did not come out and Gus was busied in writing his part for next exhibition) to Woburn, going I imagine about 20 miles. Found many nests but took none but the Small Pewee (M. Acadica) and olive sided fly catcher. (T. Cooperi), four eggs of the former and one of the latter. In climbing trees I broke the crystal of my watch. I got quite a number of wild flowers; Iris, Ladies Slipper, Wild Geranium &c. Walked in with Gus. Had my hair cut. Found Mother had gone down to Beverly to spend the Sabbath. Gave Abby a lesson in Geometry. Father bought and gave me a collecting box for my samples. Watch crystal 50 c. Toll 1c.
S 28th Went to Mr Frothingham's all day; a stranger preached two admirable sermons. Called with Father on Dr Dix, the oculist, and procured a glass for wetting my eyes with cold water. Called on Uncle Robert. Count Pourtales has just returned from the South and I saw him this evening at Agassiz'. Walked out with Gus.
29th Received a letter from Mr. F. N. Knapp which I answered about birds’ eggs. Walked into town with Gus for the exercise; found Mr Desor at home. Saw Dr Noyes with regard to a room at Divinity. Toll 1c Letter 5c.
30th Rainy all day.
31st Last day of Spring. Walked with Gus. Went with Gibbs to see him have a tooth out under the influence of chloroform administered by Dr Wyman. It affected him rather severely and he did not get over it for some time.
June 1st First day of Summer. Cold and uncomfortable. Found a Y[ellow]. B[illed]. Cuckoo's nest with 4 eggs which I took and 2 specimens of Salamandra erythronota. Saw Desor, Pourtales and Ed. Cabot.
2d Gus went home sick again. Called on Dr J. Wyman. Meeting of the Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. Mr Agassiz delivered us a lecture on his investigations of the Robin's eggs. The embryo has webbed feet and a hooked bill, thereby proving the inferiority in the Natural Classification of Water birds and Birds of Prey. I presented 2 kinds of Skate's eggs, two jaws of Acanthias Americanus (Dogfish) [type of shark] and a branch of pine from Provincetown, worn by the sand driven against it by the wind. I also exhibited my specimens of Salamandra and then gave them to Agassiz. Walked with Loammi Ware and found a Wilson's Thrush's nest, but did not take it. Chose into the Soc. from my class, Warner, Hay, [Charles] Hale, L[oammi]. G. Ware, J. A. P. Lowell, and [John] Noble.
June 3d Frank came out with the dog and we walked up to Spy Pond. I found nests of the Trichas Marilandia [probably the Common Yellowthroat], Y. B. Cuckoo, and two species of rare wood warblers. Got in town about 1/2 past 6. I also found a star nosed mole and got a good many bank-swallows eggs—most of which as they were near hatching, I took with the mole to Agassiz. Called on Mrs Sayles. Toll 1c.
S 4th Dr Harwood examined my teeth, as I couldn't get in early enough yesterday. Went to Church all day—Mr. F. in the morning and Mr Lothrop in the afternoon. Frank came out to spend the night with me. Called on Gus—not very sick. Borrowed Dr Abbott's cane gun. Toll 1c. Box soda powder—charged.
5th Lection Day, therefore a holiday, but very unpleasant and rainy. Frank took a walk with me nevertheless and we both got slightly wet. I found a summer yellow bird's nest, one egg of which with [“and”] some strange worms I caught in Fresh Pond and which he [Agassiz] had never seen[,] I took to Agassiz. There I saw Dr Wyman and Pourtales.
6th Rainy. Walked with [classmate] Oscar Parker
7th Rainy. Called on Dr J. Wyman
8th Rainy. Received a note from Gus.
9th Walked with Gam. Bradford to Watertown.
10th Frank came out with the dog. L. G. Ware walked with us to west Cambridge and back. I shot a partridge with Dr. Abbotts cane gun and Frank found a Vireo's nest with 3 eggs. Handed in a theme—“The Fate of the Egyptian Mummies.” Called with Father on Mrs Sayles. Called on Mrs Coe; also on Dr Gould. Toll 2c.
S. 11th Went with Frank to the Navy Yard to see the Bay State, one of the Sound steamers, now in the drydock. Father gave us a note to Captain Brevoort who obtained leave for us from the Captain of the Boat, Capt Brown. He showed us all over it from top to bottom. Frank then went home and I attended service on board the Franklin, the receiving ship. Saw the Constitution and the John Adams. Went with old Mr. Senter to Church in the afternoon; Mr Frothingham preached. Wrote to Curtis Coe. Walked out with Gus. Called on Dr. J. Wyman. Toll 1c.
12th Walked with Gus.
13th A meeting of my Class was held this evening to make arrangements for a Class-supper. I however went in town with Gus. Toll 2c.
14th Walked with Gus.
15th Mother, Grandmother, Abby, Father and Frank came out, but I did not see them. Rowed on Fresh Pond with Gus in the evening. Called on Dr Harris.
16th Meeting of the Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. Chose in from my class Ball, Borden, [Henry] Hersey and J. H. Thayer. Dr Wyman exhibited an embryo kitten to show its web feet, and embryo chicken and snake. He also showed various fossil shark teeth. Flint of the junior class gave a lecture on Rose-bugs in which he stated that hitherto they had confined their attacks to garden trees—Thereupon I mentioned that I this evening had observed quantities of them on Forest trees. Proctor Cones presented beautiful specimens of Bog Iron ore from Maine and Cooke presented a box of fossils from New York and gave a description of the different strata of that region. I exhibited specimens of Egyptian insects from an egg of the Sacred Ibis taken from a mummy pit by Mr B. P. Poore. Wrote to Cousin Emily at Cincinnati.
17th Walked with Frank and the dog to West Cambridge. Found an oven-bird's nest with 4 eggs. Saw some wood cocks. Got a wood snail which I carried to Dr Gould. Went to see with Gus a new shark, brought by Atwood of Provincetown, 13 feet long, a regular “man eater.” Went with Gus to look at some boats. Received from Dr Gould the eggs brought from Florida for Dr Binney; they were Brown Pelican, Common Cormorant and several species of heron. Toll 1c. Shark fee 15c.
S 18th Went to Church all day. Mr ______ preached. Called with Gus on Uncle Robert and Mr C. S. Brown. Toll 1c.
19th Rowed with Gus and Frank Foster on Fresh Pond. Caught some fire-flys.
20th A heavy thunder storm. Wrote letters to Russia, Prof. Fischer, Mr Cramer and Mrs Gellibrand.
21st Walked in with Gus. Took a bath and swam a little at Bramans. Toll 2c. Bath 12 1/2 c.
22d Took a long walk with Gus through Cambridge Port, East Cambridge, Charlestown, and Somerville.
23d Called on Aunt Jane and Mrs Mayo. Also on my classmate Chase.
24th Walked in during the morning with Gus. Went with him and Mr Hay to buy a boat. Went into water and swam a little. Went with Father to the Nat. Hist. Soc. rooms. Waterston, Pray & Co's large store in Federal St. fell through today. Took tea at Uncle Robert's. Nat. Henry Barrett of Concord gave me a large bouquet. Toll 1c. Bath 12 1/c
S 25th Went to Church in the morning—Mr F. preached. Took a Rochelle powder and staid at home in the afternoon. Walked out with Gus. and called on Mr Dixwell. Toll 1c.
26th Called on Mr Austin but he was out. I then went and saw Count Pourtales. Went to Fresh Pond with the dip net, and Gus.
27th Walked in town with Gus and went into water. I find that I can now swim. Toll 2c. Bath 12 1/2 c
28th Called on Mr Whittemore.
29th Walked into town with Gus, and went into water. Bought 5 tickets to the bath. Toll 2c. Bath tickets—50c.
30th Meeting of the Harv Nat Hist. Soc. Last meeting of the term. Whipple was chosen President; Pierce, cor. sec.; myself, Vice President and Noble, Rec. sec. I am also Treasurer ex officio. Curators were also chosen and I keep my Ichth[yology] & Her[petology]. Warner has Conchology and L. G. Ware, Botany. I handed in my Curator's Report for last year. I gave a specimen of Ranatra, (a long legged bug from Fresh Pond), and Davis gave some fossils from the valley of the Potomac. Called on Dr Harris.
July 1st Walked in and went into water with Gus. Found the water exceedingly cold and made myself feel quite unwell for the rest of the day. Spent part of the evening with John Coe who has brought some eggs from the Lake. Received a letter from Mr. John L. Hayes of Mt. Katahdin Iron Works about eggs in reply to one which I sent him some time since. Toll 1c Letter 7c.
S 2d Went to Church in the morning; Mr F. preached. Staid at home in the afternoon as I did not feel very well. Saw Dr Parsons who had just got home from Europe. Walked out with Gus in most uncomfortable weather. Called on [classmate] Fred. Williams while in town and also on Hermann Warner. Toll 1c.
3d Walked in town with Gus. Went down to Hingham to spend the 4th at Grandfather's.
4th Spent the day much more sensibly than if I had staid at Boston, in botanizing and riding. Found two specimens of Salamandra erythronota. Dined on a most excellent roast-pig. Went to see Robert—found him well and happy.
5th Came up from Hingham in the first boat. Grandfather and Grandmother each gave me $2.00—the former's being my monthly. Father carried me in his chaise most of the way to Cambridge. Examined by the Committee in Mathematics. Grandpa paid my fare in the boat.
6th Examined by the Committee in History. Called on Mrs. Austin. Walked with Gus.
7th Went botanizing after tea. Examined in Latin and Greek.
8th Went down to Hingham in the first boat having walked in from Cambridge. Went fishing for shiners, bream &c with Frank in the morning. Up to Triphammer pond with him in the afternoon—I caught several pickerel and shot a sparrow whose eggs we had taken for the purpose of ascertaining her species. Mother came down at night with Mary. Toll 1c. Fare 25c.
S 9th Rode a long distance in the morning. At night walked down and spent part of the evening with Capt. Jenkins.
10th Came up in the first boat with Mother. Father brought me out in his chaise. Grandfather gave me $10.00 for White mountain expenses Grandmother $1.00 for our fare in the boat this morning, which left 25c. after using it for that purpose and paying Robert's fare in the steamboat carriage. Examined in French. Went in town to spend the evening, and bathed. Much Serenading in Summer St. Toll 2c
11th Examined in Philosophy. Spent the evening in town. Toll 2c.
12th Exhibition day—Gus had a Greek version for his part. I received notice from the President that I am to figure next October in a Latin dialogue. Mother and Abby came out. Spent the night in town. Toll 1c. Went into water.
13th Class day—enjoyed myself exceedingly. [George] Tiffany had the oration and Tom Clarke the poem. This year in addition to the other ceremonies there was a dance on the green. Moved my furniture to Divinity Hall and left Cambridge. Saw Uncle Woodbury. Moving 50 c Toll 1c.
14th Getting ready for the White Mountains. Rode over to Charlestown with Father. Went into Water with Gus. Trout hooks 9c. Lines 25c. Thin sack [coat] $1.25. Straw hat 62 1/2 c
15th Called on Henry Thayer. Went to the Athenaeum. Walked with Gus. Went to the Nat. Hist. Soc. rooms. Novel for Mother 25c.
S. 16th Went to Church in the morning—Mr F. preached. Arranged H. N. H. Soc. reptiles with Father in the afternoon.
17th I started with Gus Hay, Mother and Robert on my journey—we reached Centre Harbor without any trouble—here we found Mrs S. Johnson and family with Billy Weld and Anna Patterson. We staid here several days enjoying ourselves much and then started, that is, myself and chum on foot with our knapsacks on our backs for the White Mountains—before we started we had made an expedition to Bear Camp brook in Sandwich in the hope of astonishing the trout—we caught but few however—and I resolved if possible to catch an extra dozen at the trout brooks before us. The first day of our tramp found us but thirteen miles advanced, as we took the wrong road and walked four miles out of our way. We “put up” at a farmers at night and dined at one's also, having country fare and good hard cider—resting at noon by catching a few trout. The second night we arrived at Conway, having passed through Moultonboro', Sandwich, Tamworth and Eaton—walking today eighteen miles. The views were in many places beautiful—we left the stage road and took one over the hills, rather more tiresome to be sure, but much more picturesque. This afternoon we met with quite an adventure—from Eaton to Conway the road is very desolate—for the last four miles not a house—the trees cut down and a thick growth of shrub oaks about four feet high on each side of the road—in this delightful spot about 6 o'clock in the evening we got caught in a tremendous thunder storm—it literally poured. The ground, a kind of clay soon was softened, we got wet through to our skins, and this, added to the darkness broken only by the frequent vivid flashes of lightning, rendered our situation exceedingly romantic. Here we were compelled by a rainy day to spend Sunday—misery indeed had not the Pequanket House been cheered by two gentlemen from Cambridge, brothers, by name Buckingham—one a minister, the other an ex-freshman. This brings us to Monday, the 24th.
We have now started from Conway with the Buckinghams. They left us at a nice little public house in Bartlett and kept on to Old Crawford's which is 5 miles farther. We stopped at aforesaid public house and fished for trout all the next day—I had good luck and caught a fine long string. Then we stopped next at Old Crawfords—here Mother met us. This is about 8 miles from the Notch proper but is in the bosom of mountains—immense woods in every direction, clothing the sides of the lofty hills. A little bear cub played his ungainly pranks much to the edification of Robert—it was caught but a few weeks before close to the house. Near by is “Nancy's bridge”—a beautiful spot—The road passes over a chasm of about 60 feet perpendicular depth—at whose bottom roars quite a little torrent which appeared formidable from above. One day the Buckinghams followed up this brook with me, and we amused ourselves in a scientific manner in building little dams. Here we found Mrs Follen and son of Cambridge with his classmate Cook. Also a student of the University of New York by name George S. Gray, with whom I afterwards travelled some distance, and Captain Christopher Williams, who is a first rate, old gentleman. We staid here several days and enjoyed ourselves—ascending Mt. Crawford on foot and having a fine view of Mt Washington. Thence we proceeded with the Buckinghams through the Notch to Fabyan's having bidden good bye to Old Crawford. We stopped a while to see the famous Willy House which now forms but part of a hotel which has been built upon its site. The flood of stones and earth brought down by the Avalanche is now nearly concealed by the trees and bushes that have been springing up and growing during 20 years. The scenery at the Notch itself was peculiarly interesting. The distance between the bases of the mountains on either side is very small and the road is often crossed by the brooks—immediately upon passing through the narrowest part we found Tom Crawfords in front of whose house is a meadow whence arise the Saco and the Amonoosuc, here but rivulets. Fabyan's is but four miles beyond, yet is entirely out of the mountains—we arrived here in a tremendous storm—the thunder echoing from peak to peak seemed a continued crash for many minutes. We here met Mother again and staid several days. I found here Flint of the Junior Class with his friend Saalmuller of the “Horsford Corps,” on a scientific expedition which was cut short by the loss of their baggage. One night after a storm there was a most beautiful rainbow, triple and most brilliant—spanning the whole open area in front of the house from mountain to mountain. Here is a fine echo which resounds to one of the enormous trumpets of this region, and the cannon with which Fabyan nightly delights the ears of his guests. From this house we ascended Mt Washington,—the day before had been stormy and the morning looked so dubious that I was almost afraid of another rain—how lucky that I went—for it was the clearest day of the season. The roads were horrible—the recent rains had so far influenced the mud that in many places it was up to the saddle girths—and then we had to get off to lighten our poor beasts—faithful creatures they were and bore us in safety up rocky ascents that I should not have believed any creature could surmount. Going, we passed over Mt Pleasant and several other mountains and did not reach Washington's summit till noon. The views had been growing grander and more sublime as we advanced and when we at last stood on the top of the highest peak east of the Rocky Mts the effects on my mind were not to be described. We were above everything—we could see the far ocean and the great Mts. seemed but little hills—The rivers dwindled into insignificance—and Winnipissegee, that vast inland sea, lay stretched below like a mill pond—not a sound was to be heard and we were in truth alone—far above the limits of vegetation and surrounded only by mighty fragments of black and storm beaten rock—though clad in flannels and a thick great coat we yet felt the extreme cold sensibly and I could hardly hold the reins my fingers were so benumbed—a champagne dinner on the top of Mt Washington soon set my blood in motion again however. We found little flowers in blossom quite near the top and I wished I had been able to examine the pretty little lakes on the side of the Mt. We found the descent rather worse than the ascent but as soon as we reached the level, I pushed my horse into a fast trot which he maintained till he got home. I had been nearer heaven than I ever had before and been struck by the majesty and power of him who holdeth the mountains in the hollow of his hand.
Thus far I had walked—we now pushed on by stage as far as Franconia which we reached on Saturday afternoon—paid my respects to the old man of the Mt.—went on Echo Lake and heard the cannons roar—we saw the “Basin” on our road—such a villainous road and such an unaccommodating landlord that we were glad to go on even though it were Sunday. We stopped and went to see the “flume”—into the recesses of which mother unwisely penetrated by which she made herself quite sick. Then on again to Plymouth where we passed the night—going the next day to Centre Harbor where Gus took a room with me at a farm house, Mother and Robert “putting up” at the hotel. We spent our time mostly in gunning and boating—went to Ossipee falls trout fishing. After a while Gus went home and I amused myself alone. I had a slight touch of dysentery which Dr Morland, who happened opportunely to be on hand drove off, vi et castor oil. I went again to Ossipee falls with Dr M., Dr. Abbot, his brother and Capt. Williams. Whilst here I shot 5 wild ducks (shelldrakes), 4 partridges, 1 wild pigeon. Robert was taken sick suddenly with dysentery which brought me home on the 17th of August. My expenses were this much—to the Mts. $26.64 at Centre H. $10.50 more making in all $37.14.
18th In as much a I am now a stranger in town, I went round to see the sights—the new Fitchburg R. R. depot—the excavated frog-pond &c.
19th This afternoon I went to Hingham with Grandfather, who paid my fare and gave me my monthly $2.00. Found the children very glad to see me and Tiger knew me instantly.
S 20th Rambled about with the children and Frank.
21st Still at Hingham—Drove Frank and my sisters to see a little girl feed some fishes which she had tamed in a pond near Ware river foundry, and to whom I gave for her efforts 10 c.
22d Went up to Boston. Grandma gave me 75 c. of which I expended for the fare 25 c. Mr Olmstead of Hartford spent the evening with me.
23d Commencement day. Went to Cambridge and attended the performances which were very good. Took dinner at Dr Plimpton's and paid his bill. Mr Olmstead spent the evening again with me. Dr. Plimptons bill $27.50 Toll 2c.
24th Assignment of the Boylston prizes for Declamation. Heard some of the speakers. Was too tired to attend the Φ Β Κ oration. Saw Dr Noyes and got his certificate about our room at Divinity. Saw Mrs Bradford and paid her bill. Went to the Worcester R. R. and saw Sarah Bradford, who had just arrived on her way to Cambridge. Called on Hermann Warner. Toll 2c. Mrs Bradfords bill $17.50
25th Bought a pair of rolling blinds for our room and had a screw put in our study lamp in place of one which was lost—of all which my share amounted to 75c.
26th Rowed with Gus. our boat to Cambridge from Commercial Wharf. Attended the first prayers of the term. Took tea at Commmons, put our room in order, and walked in late in the evening with Gus. Paid for repairing washstand, of which my share was 50 c.
S 27th Mr Putnam preached a beautiful sermon in the morning on religious rest, and another equally good one in the afternoon on the ultimate success of Right. Went to walk with Fred. Williams. Walked out with Gus. Toll 2c
28th Beginning of the Term. Attended the Professors to have lessons marked out. Bought of Fred[erick] Lane [Class of 1849] Jouffroys Int. to Ethics and Olmstads Astronomy to which he added Th. Parson's Swedenborgian Essays. Called on Count Pourtales. Carpet woman was paid—my share 90c Books $2.00.
29th Walked into town with Gus at night. Found a box of eggs just arrived from St Petersburgh, mostly collected in Siberia and sent by Mr Cramer. Had the remnant of our wood, our blacking &c brought from Mrs Bradford's. Toll 2c. Matches 1c. Carting 12 1/2 Blank book 6c.
30th Had a call from John Noble. Stratton's bill $3.38.
31st Walked with Gus.
Sept 1st Walked into town with Gus. in the evening. Called on Dr Cabot to talk about bird's eggs. Toll 2c.
2d Rode in with Father. Saw a man ascend in a balloon from the Public gardens—he went up finely and in a short time was out of sight. Went to the Athenaeum and took out an enormous volume[,] the Moniteur[,] for Simeon Borden. Called on Henry Thayer. Bought a translation of some German poetry for Abby's birth-day (tomorrow.) I am boarding at the Misses Uphams this term but thought I would leave and go to Commons on account of its costing less and for that purpose I paid them this weeks board. Father when I told him of it would not consent to it however, and so I shall go back Monday morning. Have had a good deal of headache this week—much more than at any time since I have been home from sea—have not felt much better from finding out that our boat that we have just bought proves very defective. Went to Uncle Roberts counting room this noon. Paid my term bill. Walked with Henry Thayer. Term bill $37.82 Misses Uphams $3.00 Book 62 1/2 c
S 3d Went to Church all day—Mr Frothingham preached. Got up early and worked on a theme, wrote to Mother and described the Cottus [sculpin] I got at the White Mts with Father. Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
4th Walked with Gus. Had Smyth's lectures charged at the store. Called on Mr. Agassiz and saw him.
5th Walked with Gus. Pass lock, my share 20c.
6th Went into town alone and found Robert very dangerously sick—both insensible and crazy at times. Toll 2c
7th Handed in a theme on “Henry VII.'s title to the English crown.” Walked in with Gam. Bradford and out alone. Found Robert scarcely any better. Toll 2c.
8th Had a blank book charged 10c at the bookstore. Saw Mr Agassiz and Dr Wyman. Meeting of the H. N. H. Society. Presented specimens of Oliva ispudula, O[liva]. flammulata and Purpura fiscella [all shells]—also Coluber occipito-maculatus [snake of the racer family] and Salamandra symmettrica, which I caught at the White Mts. Flint reported on a specimen of Ranatra [long legged bug] that I presented last term, from Fresh Pond. I have thus far ascertained but eighteen species of the reptiles belonging to the Society. Padlock key my share 6 1/4 c
9th Walked in with Gus. This afternoon a smart thunder shower. Slept at Uncle Roberts to take care of the house as Aunt Frances watched with Robert. Toll 1c. Bill for bed $2.00
S 10th Went to Church all day. Called on Fred Williams Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
11th Gus being laid up with a cold, I rowed up to Watertown this evening in our boat with Henry Thayer.
12th Rowed again to night with Thayer as far as the Milldam.
13th Rowed again with Thayer down the river.
14th Caught cold last night. Walked in with Gus and caught more cold. Found Robert a little better. Toll 2c Liquorice 3c.
15th Spent part of the evening with [classmates] Frank Foster and Steve[ns]. Parker. Boat mending my share $1.50 Book 5c
16th Did not go in till late in the afternoon and worked with John Noble on our dialogue. Mr Desor spent the evening at Fathers and gave us an account of his researches at Nantucket Shoals—he also brought Father a new species of Cottus. Lent Mead our boat. Robert a little better. Toll 1c.
S 17th My cold is very bad, so did not go to Church but tried air and exercise for it and spent the day very pleasantly with Mr Desor on board the U. S. steam surveying cutter Bibb. He showed me his drawings and explained to me his theory of the formation of the shoals. Took dinner with the officers, Messrs McLean, Hamnatt and Anderson—Lieut Davis being away. Called on Capt Brevoort previously, who admitted me into the yard. Ascertained reptiles with Father. Toll 1c.
18th Cold still very troublesome. Slippery Elm 3c.
19th Called on Aunt Jane and Mrs Mayo. Lent Ball our boat.
20th Called on Lieut Davis to ask him to be present at our next Nat. Hist. Soc. meeting and give us an account of the discoveries made by him and Mr Desor at the South Shoals—he assented. Corks 3c.
21st Walked in town with Gus and went with Aunt Frances to the Annual Horticultural exhibition at Faneuil Hall. Saw specimens of my “early Northern Cabbage” that I brought from St. Petersburg, raised by Mr Teschemacher. Toll 2c.
22d Meeting of the Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. Lieut. Davis gave a very interesting account of his theory of the action of the tideal currents in forming continents, both in the present and former geological epochs. Dr Wyman exhibited brains of a Catostomus [white sucker], and tortoise, and casts of other brains, making allusions to the development of the Cerebral Hemispheres as intelligence advanced in the scale. Eph. Ball had at my suggestion visited the Copper mines at Carlisle during vacation—he now made his report and presented specimens. Lem. Shaw presented a specimen of Copper ore from Lake Huron. I exhibited specimens of a species of Ichneumon [parasitic insect] with the chrysalis from which they had hatched—also presented fossils from J. P. Cookes and made remarks on the nonsensical system of black balling all who were proposed for joining. [George Miller] Hobbs of my class was elected a member. Called on Dr Wyman previous to the meeting—also on Dr Gray but he was out.
23d Walked into town after dinner with Prof. Lovering—talked about Electricity, Astronomy, Geology and kindred subjects. Was measured for a dress coat and vest at Earles. Went to the Athenaeum and called on Henry Thayer. Walked about town with Father.
S 24th Went to Church all day. Mr F[rothingham]. preaching. Described with Father a new species of Cottus from South Shoals brought by Mr Desor. Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
26th [With Noble,] Handed in our dialogue to Dr Beck for him to examine. Called on Nat. Hayward.
27th Caught some sticklebacks just back of the hall and carried them with some flowers into town in the evening. Called on Mrs Bradford on my way out. Toll 2c.
28th Handed in my first Forensic—“Whether Emulation as a motive to study in schools and colleges should be stimulated by artificial means?” I took the negative side.
29th Spent part of the evening with Frank Foster and Hermann Warner.
30th Walked into town with Gus. & Steve. Parker before dinner. Went shopping with Mother. Went to see the Greek Slave [statue] of [Hiram] Powers. Went to the Nat. Hist. Rooms. Toll 1c. kid gloves ch'd. Statue 25c.
Grandfather gave me $12.50 to pay for my boat, which left a balance of $2.62 1/2 for me to pay. He also gave me my allowance of last month and that of this making $4.00 more.
S. Oct 1st Went to Church all day—Mr F. preached. Walked out with Gus.
2d Rainy and monotonous. Had a call from Gibbs.
3d Received back our dialogue from Dr Beck. Rainy again.
4th Charles Girard brought me the drawing of Desor's new species of Cottus, just finished most beautifully by Mr. Sourel. The Proctor came down upon us to stop Gus. from rattling the dum-bells together—Raining again.
5th Walked into town to night with Gus. Handed in a theme—subject “A novel designed to recommend certain opinions in Politics, Theology or Education.” Toll 2c.
6th Meeting of Harv. Nat. Hist. Soc. Cooke & Sewell of the Senior class and Fred Williams, [James Fowler] Lyman and Foster were elected in. Mr Halls address was brought up. Whipple and myself appointed Com. of Publication. Gave some more of Cooke's fossils. Showed living specimen of Gasterosteus quadracus [stickleback] from fresh water ditches which appear to have been as it were bleached by the fresh water. Chase, graduate presented through Davis minerals for which he had a vote of thanks. Debated a good deal about trifles. Rehearsed my part.
7th Walked in alone. Called on the Johnsons, Franklin St and Anna Patterson—all out. Frank and Tiger arrived today from Hingham. Walked about with Nat Hayward. Toll 1c.
S 8th Went to Church all day. Capt Atwood called—had caught a hammerhead Shark. Walked out with Gus Toll 1c.
9th John Noble came to my room this evening and we rehearsed.
10th Walked in with J. H. Thayer. Came out alone. Toll 2c
11th Walked out alone in the evening. Wrote to Dr Robinson. Had a call from Frank Browne [Sophomore].
12th Walked about this evening alone.
13th Went in town this evening with Gus. Toll 2c
14th Walked in with John Noble and took him to the Nat. Hist. rooms. Desor spent part of the evening at No 14. W[inter]. St. Toll 2c.
S 15th Had a very bad nose bleed on rising this morning which used me up for the day. Went to Church in the afternoon. Mr F. preaching. Called on Uncle Robert. Started for Cambridge tonight on foot and alone, but was overtaken by Tommy Curtis who took me part way in his carry all and walked with me the rest. Toll 1c.
16th Walked in tonight with Gus and spent the night in town. Rehearsed before Mr Channing.
17th Exhibition Day. I had a part with John Noble—a Latin dialogue form “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” of Moliere—Act III. Sc. III. Got off pretty well. Rode in after the same with the girls and Mary Thomas. Went to the Museum this afternoon and saw the Viennoise children dance. Walked out with Gus. Musicians $2.00 Omnibus 30c Museum 25c Toll 2c.
18th Raining and very unpleasant. Received a letter from Dr Robinson. Gown 50c Letter 5c.
19th Our newly granted Chemical Society had its first meeting at Hale's room. Committees were appointed to draw up a constitution and arrange the apparatus in the Society's room.
Oct. 20th Meeting of the H. N. H. Society. As the president was absent, I as V. P. presided. I carried with me Lieut. Davis and Mr Desor, who gave us a beautiful lecture on the distribution of marine animal-life, and presented the Soc. with specimens to illustrate his remarks. He was followed by Dr Wyman who deposited some human crania and exhibited drawings of a new “distoma” from the peritoneum of a frog—also ova of a frog to exhibit the development. Next came [James Edward] Oliver, Senior, who gave a new theory of the laws and formation of crystals. I handed over the rest of Cooke's fossils and exhibited a specimen of Gasterosteus quadracus [stickleback] with 5 dorsal spines. After the election of members we adjourned.
21st Sent for by Mr Everett to receive a “Detur”—White's Nat-Hist. of Selborne—the same edition I obtained for my “Etrurian” dissertation at the Latin School. Upon learning how the case was he kindly promised to exchange it. Walked in alone. Walked about in the afternoon with Henry Thayer. Went to the Athenaeum. Called on Aunt Jane Brewer and Uncle Robert. Also left my autograph at Louisa Merriams. Toll 1c.
S 22d Went to Church all day—Mr F. (A.M.)—Mr Waterston (P.M.) Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
23d Walked with Henry Thayer and Oscar Parker.
24th Walked into town this evening with Gus. Spent the night in town. Toll 1c.
25th Cochituate Water Celebration—opening of the Fountain &c. We all turned out in the procession, under “Harvard”s banner, and had a fine time—cheered the girls so much that I almost lost my voice. So tired that I staid in town over night Apples 7c.
26th Walked out before breakfast.
27th Joined a Whig torch light procession with some of the fellows and marched over to East Cambridge—illumination, fire works, cheering &c.
28th Walked in with Fred Williams and L. G. Ware. Took a walk with Grandmother and took dinner with her. Had a bad nose bleed in the afternoon. Toll 3c.
S 29th Two water sermons on the entree of Cochituate. Mr F. (AM)—Mr Young (P.M). Walked out with [classmates] F. D. W[illiams]., J. H. T[hayer], L. G. W[are]. and Joel Seaverns.
30th Rainy. Received an invitation to tea at Mr Hodges'—accepted and went. Walked in at 8 and joined the immense Whig torch light procession—Closed in with Old Harvard and marched over to Dorchester Heights. Slept in town—received a letter from Mr Cramer, St. P[etersburg]. Toll 1c.
31st Walked out before breakfast. Walked in at night through East Cambridge with Warner and Foster to see a boxing match at the Maine R R depot. Several pairs performed, ending off with Belcher Kay and “Yankee” Sullivan. Considerable “science” was shown. Walked out with Warner. Ticket 50c. Toll 4c.
Nov 1st Meeting of the Rumford Society. Met in our room, decided on the name, chose in members &c. After which adjourned to the Oyster room, where we celebrated our birth night over draught ale, “stewed” and “done in crumbs”, at [classmate Joseph Prevost] Carrs expense—after cracking jokes for an hour or so and seeing which could tell the greatest story we marched off as we came in single file to the sound of [classmate Robert] Fearn's flute. Studied Oology a little while.
Nov 2d Went with [classmate] Frank Gould to a Whig meeting at the Port and heard Dr Bell and Messrs Brigham and Sargent discourse. Handed in a Theme, “Of leaving Memoirs or Correspondence to be published after perhaps many years after the writer's death.”
Nov 3d Meeting of the H. N. H. Society. I had previously seen Agassiz, Dr Wyman and Lieut. Davis but none could be present. Dr Wyman sent by me Mr Gibbs pamphlet on the Basilosaurus and Dana's Zoophytes of the U. S. Exploring Expedition. Proposed Desor and [Lieut.] Davis as Honorary Members and had them elected.
4th Walked in with Gus. Went to the Athenaeum. Called with Mother and Frank on the Ropes but found them out. Had a bad nose bleed. Received a box of eggs from St. Petersburgh. Toll 1c.
S. 5th Had a bad nose bleed that kept me at home all day. Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
6th Walked with Henry Thayer.
7th Walked in town with Gus. Presidential Election. Spent part of the afternoon at the Library. Toll 2c.
8th Walked alone. Spent part of the afternoon at the Library.
9th First snow storm.
10th Walked with Gus.
11th Walked in with Gus and Clarence Cook. Called on the Johnsons in Franklin St. Also on Dr Morland. Also on the Sayles'. Also on Uncle John. Found them all in. Toll 1c.
S. 12th A slight snow storm. Went to Church all day—Mr Buckingham, whom I saw at the White Mountains preached; I had a little chat with the same after church P.M. Dr Hale died this morning. Walked out with Gus in a shower. Described with Father a new species of Chimaera [ocean fish related to sharks]. Toll 1c.
13th Father and Mother came out and I called with Mater on Mrs Follen. Saw her. Walked with Gus.
14th Walked in and out alone. Toll 2c.
15th Walked in alone. Went with Mother to a large party at Enoch Train's in Dorchester. Went to and from in an omnibus with a select few—The Homan's, Johnson's, Sid. Bartlett, Charlie Hawes, George Patterson and Charlie Francis. Had a capital time. Got back to Cambridge at 1/2 past 3 that night. Toll 2c. Omnibus
16th Rumford Society. Formed the Constitution and elected the following officers—Hale, Pres.—Warner, V. P.—Carr, Secretary—Ball, Curator. Occasional business transacted.
17th H.N.H.S. meeting. I delivered a lecture on the Dodo.
18th Walked in with Gus. Called with Mother on Mrs Austin at the Albion—found her out; also on Mrs Thornton at the Pavilion—found her in. Called alone on Sarah Homans, Mary Johnson, Capt Williams and Uncle Gardner. Paid initiation fee to Rumford Society. Toll 1c. Fee $5.00
S 19th Mr F. in the morning—Mr Putnam in the afternoon. Walked out with Gus and L. G. Ware. Toll 1c.
Nov 20th Severe snow storm. Rumford Society. Elected members and transacted occasional business. Matches 1c.
21st Walked with Gus.
22d Walked in with Gus. Toll 2c.
23d Handed in a forensic—“Whether the world is likely to be a gainer on the whole from the disappearance of popular superstitions in respect either to Morals or Happiness.” I took the affirmative. Dr Wyman called to see me.
24th Called with Gus on Mr Dixwell. Stormy and unpleasant.
25th Walked in with Gus. Called with Mother on Mrs Farley, Mrs Willard and Mrs Bradford. Went with Father to the Nat Hist Rooms. Toll 1c. Blank book 6c.
S 26th Mr F. (A.M.)—Mr Stanking[?] (P.M.). Walked out alone. Called on Aunt Jane who gave me a nice pair of socks that she had knit for me. Toll 1c.
27th Mr Everett made known his resignation [from Harvard Presidency] to us tonight at prayers to my great sorrow. Walked with Warner.
28th Walked in with Gus. Nothing to do after tonight's prayers this week. Toll 1c.
29th Went this evening to a Promenade Concert given by the Steyer-Markische Company at Faneuil Hall. Enjoyed myself much. Strolled round town during the day. Concert 25c.
30th Thanksgiving day. Took dinner at home and we carried on greatly. Spent the evening at Grandfathers. Went to Church.
Dec 1st Made myself as agreeable as I could to the Hayward girls and Carrie Brewer who were spending the evening with Abby. Drove Mother out to Dorchester this afternoon to call upon Mrs Train.
2d Went to the Athenaeum. Dined with Grandfather. Nose bleed as usual.
S 3d Mr F in the morning. Went and heard Mr Gannett in the afternoon. Met Mr Desor in Quincy St as I was walking out with Gus and carried him down to introduce him to my room. Toll 1c.
4th Rumford Soc. Heard a lecture from Fearn on “Chemistry in General and C[oun]t. Rumford in Particular.” Was elected next lecturer. The Countess of Rumford, Profs Lovering, Horsford and Webster were elected Honorary Members. Pass key to Rum. Soc's room 25c.
5th Rainy and unpleasant. Described for Father a Cryptacanthodes maculatus [ghostfish—large elongated marine fish].
6th Ditto. Received my “detur”—Life of Romilly.
7th Ditto. Mrs Upham gave us a Thanksgiving dinner. Handed in a theme—“The last word the Queen ever uttered was ‘Pray'—the interest generally felt in such details of the death of the emminent.”
Dec 8th Meeting of H.N.H.S. I gave a lecture on the comparative anatomy of Reptiles, without notes—as Herpetological Curator.
9th Called on Mrs Hodges. Walked in with Gus. Called with Mother on Mrs Enoch Patterson, at whose house I was introduced to Miss Abby Bond. Went to Desor's lecture on Geology at the Nat. Hist Rooms in the evening; he kindly sent me a ticket. Toll 1c.
S 10th Rainy. Went to Church all day and heard Mr F. Walked out with Gus. Toll 1c.
11th Paid for keeping our boat 15 weeks. My share 93 cts. Gum Tr. 1c
12th Walked in and heard Agassiz’ first lecture before the Lowell Institute on Comparative Embryology. He intends this course shall disclose a new and natural system of the Animal Kingdom. Solus egressus sum. [Walked out alone.] Toll 2c.
13th Walked in alone and went with Mother and Mary Johnson to Faneuil Hall—intending to be present at what the newspapers called a promenade concert, but which, to my slight disappointment proved a second rate dancing party. Were rather amused, nevertheless. Walked out alone. Toll 2c. Tickets 75c
14th Walked in alone and went to Mr Desor's lecture with Maria and Harriet Sayles. Walked out alone. Toll 2c.
15th Walked in with Gus. and went to Agassiz’ lecture. Described with Father a new species of Hake. Toll 2c.
16th Walked in with Gus. Went down to the wharf and saw Capt. Jenkins. Called on Aunt Sarah and Louisa Merriam. Went with Mother and Aunt Margaret to the concert of the Philharmonic Society. Madam Anna Bishop sung; Richard Hoffman played on the piano; Josef Gung'l and his newly arrived German band did finely; and Herr Siede, one of them, did superfinely with his flute. Toll 1c. Concert 50c
S 17th Mr Frothingham preached an anti-California-Gold sermon and a dismal man preached a “train-up-your-child-in-the-way-he-should-go” sermon. Walked out with Gus. Called on Agassiz. Toll 1c.
18th Walked with Gus. and Henry Thayer.
19th Walked in with Gam. [Bradford.] Heard Agassiz’ lecture. Walked out alone. Toll 2c.
20th Rumford Society. Hale experimented with the compound blow pipe. Walked with Gus. and saw Mr Dixwell for a few moments in the road.
21st Snow storm. Called on Dr Wyman. Had a call from Henry Thayer.
22d H.N.H.S. Not much business transacted. It was during a heavy snow storm, so we drew our seats around the stove and had a very social meeting. The twine factory in which our boat was kept was burnt down tonight, and the boat was also consumed.
23d Walked in with Gus. Went to Agassiz’ lecture in the afternoon and to Lieut Davis’ lecture in the evening.
S 24th Went with Mother to Mr Peabody's church (Stone Chapel) this morning. Mr Frothingham in the afternoon.
Dec. 25th Christmas day. Went to a party at Dr Homan's in the evening.
26th Went in to Agassiz lecture this evening. Walked out with Desor. Toll 2c.
27th Nothing new.
28th Snow storm. Handed in a Forensic “In the difficulties which ended in the banishment of Roger Williams, was he or the gov. of Mass. the most to be blamed.[“]
29th Snow storm. Hermann Warner spent the evening with me.
30th Heavy snow storm. Rode in in the omnibus. Had some teeth filled by Dr Harwood. Went to Agassiz’ lecture in the afternoon and Desor's in the evening. Bought with Frank several presents for New Years day. Omnibus 15c. Whip 37 1/2 c. Key ring 12 1/2 c. Gold ring [no price given] Tools 22c. Fishing rod for Frank 75c.
S 31st Went to Church in the morning. Mr F. Staid at home in the afternoon on account of studies. Frank brought me out in the sleigh. Toll 12 1/2 c.
1849 Jan. 1st Had so much to do that I could not go into town. Petitioned the Faculty to substitute German for Mathematics hereafter. Received a shot belt from Grandma, a handkerchief from Aunt Lizzie and Kate, a pincushion from Abby and Mary, a seal from Aunt Margaret, a card case from Father, and a steel watch chain from Mother, a money case from Aunt Carry, a dressing case from Aunt Sarah, and $5 from Grandfather.
Since Horatio stayed at Cambridge instead of going to the family home in Boston, he sent home the following letter that is with the Storer Family Papers.
Divinity Hall, No. 1
Jan. 1st 1849.
In the first place I wish you all a “happy new-year”—and may you see and enjoy many more.
In the second place I may as well tell you how wroth I feel at being obliged to stay out here, and be debarred from the pleasure of seeing “the things” and of calling on “those pretty girls.”
In the third place dont any of you cry at what is coming in the
Fourth place—which is
That I, do hereby, with the aid, both admonitary and monetary of my brother Frank, alias “the judge”, alias “the Ancient Greek”, and in company with him, give and assign to “the old doctor” a whip—hoping that no one may ever “whip” it away from his chaise and trusting that he will not be so ungrateful as to christen it on our backs. Hereafter if any one “had rather be whipped than do” anything they may be suited.
That I, with the same assistance as before, do also give Mother a steel ring, for a few of those strings of keys. It is but a trifle—yet may it be a typo of our family circle, hard to separate and immediately reuniting.
That I, with the same goodly assistance, do give to Abby M. and Mary G. respectively, a gold ring—may they wear them now—and in a few years when they receive another with the minister's benediction, may the marriage pledge and the token of their brothers’ love be placed on the same finger and there remain through life.
That I and the Judge do hereby give Robertey W. a box of tools, disregarding the “saw” about the danger of playing with edged tools. May he acquire by their use, sufficient skill to compete with Frank in the noble science of splitting kindlings, and sawing wood.
That I myself, alone, do, after admonishing always to do readily his duty with regard to shovelling the sidewalk, getting the horse and “shining” my Sunday boots, give to my respectable brother Frank a fishing rod—hoping that he may give good cause to the minnows and sharks to be afraid—by the way, he must always recollect to hold it by the little end and not the big one—and that he may ever have good luck.
Finally, that I do hereby give my Aunt Margaret my best respects—(there, I forgot all about thanking her for this note paper)—may she always have much happiness and pleasant slumber—and whenever I sing “Oh Susanna”!! may she accompany me on the “pianny”.
And now after sending you all, my love, I will end by these three wishes.
May Father have all his bills paid.
May you all be well to enjoy the fruits thereof, and
May you always be as happy, as good natured, and many other as-es, as you are today—or ought to be.
y'r affectionate son, brother, & nephew,
Horatio R. Storer
Aunt Margaret was Margaret Susannah Storer, and one can picture at least some of the other jokes of this happy and close family that Horatio addressed in his letter. Sadly, neither Abby nor Mary were to add husbands’ rings to those from their brothers.
1849 Jan 2d So cold that I was afraid to go in to Agassiz’ lecture.
3d Received a letter from Prof Fischer, Director General of the Imperial Botanic Gardens at St Petersburgh. Meeting of the Rumford Society. I read a lecture on the alchymists. The following officers were chosen for the next term; Carr. P—Storer, V.P—[Charles Carroll] Bombaugh, S.—Seaverns, C. Letter 29c
4th Walked in with Gus and we went to Desors Lecture. Had a lift over the bridge. Steel ring 8c. Toll 2c
5th H.N.H.S. to choose officers. Lem. Shaw. P—Hersey V. P—Davis. C. S.—Hale, R. S. Heard [Francis] Howland give the Annual oration to the Hasty Pudding Club, and [Charles Francis] Choate the poem.
6th Worked on the H.N.H.S. reptiles. Walked in with George Norris. Went to Agassiz’ and Desor's lectures. Went with Frank to see the racing on the Neck. Grandfather gave me my lunar two spot. Toll 2c.
S 7th Mr Frothingham gave this morning a eulogy on Peter C. Brooks. Staid at home in the afternoon. Walked out with Gus. Called on Aunt Jane and Mrs Mayo. Toll 1c.
8th Examined in Mathematics. Rode into town. Omnibus 15c.
9th Walked out with Gus. Examined in Latin. Walked in alone. Went to Agassiz’ lecture. Books $2.25 Toll 2c. Gum Trag 1c.
10th Walked out alone. Examined in Ethics. Walked to Fresh Pond with Warner. Toll 1c
11th Examined in Astronomy. Walked in with Gus. Went to Desor's lecture. Toll 1c
12th Went skating on the river below Cambridge bridge. Went with Mother and the children to Anna Bishops concert. Ticket Father paid for
13th Rode out to Cambridge to get some books from Agassiz. Went to Agassiz’ lecture. In the evening went with Mother and Aunt Margaret to the Philharmonic Society's concert. Madame Laborde, Mons. L. Miss O'Connor, Distin and sons and Gung'ls band. Toll 12 1/2 c
S 14th Staid at home all day and worked on Fishes. Walked to Roxbury and back for exercise.
15th Walked over Charleston and to Chelsea for exercise. Spent the evening at Uncle Roberts.
16th Spent the evening at Mary Goddards in Roxbury. Bought some things for Father at Auction. Omnibus Mother paid for.
17th Started to go ducking with George Jeffries but it blew too hard so spent the day at their house in East Boston. Ferry 8 c
18th Lame and confined to the house. Went to the Nat. Hist. Soc. meeting.
19th Worked at the Nat. Hist. Soc. rooms.
This entry for Friday, January 19, 1849 ends this journal, despite fifty blank pages remaining in the book. It probably is no coincidence that this was early in a long break from classes at Harvard College. The Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History for February 7, 1849 (p. 121) indicate that “Mr. Storer ... presented a living specimen of Coluber punctatus, obtained at Hingham, Mass., in the name of Dr. T. M. Brewer.” Assuming that Horatio found a live snake in Massachusetts in February, it may have been a trip to his grandfather's at Hingham that interrupted and ended the Harvard College journal.
At the top of the first page of the journal is pasted the following newspaper clipping:
In the J Sawyer, hence for Labrador, Professor J Wyman, Messrs H R and F H Storer.
We commenced our voyage at about 1/2 past 10 o'clock on Saturday evening 7 July 1849—bound for Labrador. This is a voyage that I had long wished to undertake—the descriptions by Audubon of the hardships to be borne and the perils perhaps to be encountered—the strange scenery, both grand and desolate—and the treasures awaiting the naturalist of every kind—all these had combined to excite my curiosity, but I had hitherto looked upon such a voyage as to me impossible. To say nothing of the expense thereof. It would consume under ordinary circumstances altogether too much time. I had been to Russia—had lost six months of my College course and ought to be preparing for the world and life, for very soon I should be called upon to work for, to take care of myself. So I had tried to forget Labrador.
But I could not. And when I found myself again severely attacked by dyspepsia—again warned by symptoms not to be mistaken that I must take preventive measures or break down in the harness and leave college ere I graduated—my hopes awoke again. I had since my journey to the White Mts. fixed upon Mt. Katahdin as the place I ought to tramp to this summer vacation—but I now began to doubt whether it was the kind of expedition that I needed. For when I went to Russia my health was decidedly affected for the better—well for a whole year, pretty well for another—whereby my White Mt trip. had made me feel bright for part only of a year. So I decided in favor of the sea.
And yet I had been before thoroughly disgusted with the salt water—and had promised myself if I but got safe home that I would neer tempt sea-sickness again. It seems very strange that distance in such a case as this does lend so much enchantment to the view. After I got back on terra firma then, the worst that the night mare could do was to put me on the deck of a vessel—now it was all that I desired. But not for itself did I long for this voyage—that was for my health—my enjoyment was to be on the shores beyond.
And therefore after manifold cogitations I began to look about me. but I knew not whither to look most. I hoped to raise a party and charter a vessel—but I was too late—every one had made his arrangements for the summer. This one had fixed on a moose-hunt in September and that would consume more time than he ought to give—that one had chartered a house on Cape Cod and must stay with his wife; and with the students too, at least with those that I should select for companions, it was the same. There were one or two it is true who had not yet decided what to do—but they were never noted for decision and their hesitation when I offered them the opportunity was such as to render me thankful that they finally refused to accompany me.
I had been at a loss moreover about a vessel—for even though I decided to go alone, the annual fleet had sailed. My Uncle Robert kindly interested himself in my behalf and made many inquiries and devoted much time to my cause—for which I heartily thank him. I ascertained through him that there were but two courses for me to choose from—at least that were obvious. To take an English vessel and sail for one of the English stages on the coast for drying fish—there leave the vessel, which would proceed thence to England, and await my chance, which would be but poor, to find an American vessel. This was one, and a bad one. The alternative and not much better was to go to Halifax in the hope of falling in with a trader who would carry me with him along the coast—this I perhaps might have done, could I have done no better.
But an opportunity at last offered itself—and a fine one too. In the course of our inquiries, Capt. Atwood had been asked his advice—he could give but little information then, but he thought upon the subject. As it happened, the Cholera had put an end to his business for the summer—people were afraid of fish and it was therefore of no use to catch mackerel—but the worst for him was their fear of Lobsters—for he had purchased from the citizens of Provincetown the exclusive right to take them and had contracted to supply thousands, his outfits had been expensive and it would now appear to no purpose—he had no work in view for the summer, and yet must do something. This Labrador expedition seemed to him a good thing for more reasons than one—not only might he thereby meet his expenses, but even perhaps realize a large sum—and in a queer way too.
“Oleum jecoris aselli” said the newspapers “would work wonders”. Everyone at all addicted, as I may say, to consumption must needs try the virtues of the Cod Liver Oil; if the physician spoke slightingly of it, the patient would dismiss him and call in one who would favor it, so he too was forced to prescribe it. And not only was it praised in the papers and used somewhat in private practice, but it had crept into the Hospital even—perhaps merely by way of experiments—at any rate it was there. From all this it follows that this great demand produced a great rise in the price—and by skilful manoeuvering the distilling of it was monopolized by a few wholesale druggists, who gave out that this operation was very complicated and attended with many difficulties. So they bought the livers of the fisherman, giving them it is true better prices than before, but yet making enormous profits.
By accident Capt. Atwood became possessed of the secret—found that it was but a simple process and that he could make the oil as well as any one—nay, he made a few samples by way of experiment that proved upon comparison to be clearer and purer than any in the market. But at first he had no idea of the prices it eventually brought, when fairly in the market, and again he found that a great deal of spurious oil would be brought forward—Hake, Pollack and even Dogfish oils being palmed off for the genuine article—so he for a time thought but little of it.
But when he heard of my intention, as I before said, he began to ponder. And when, after he was advised so to do by Dr Cabot, he made a call upon Apothecary Burnett, he also determined to sail thitherward. For as soon as Mr Burnett saw his samples he was very anxious to procure some of the same sort and offered three dollars a gallon for as much as he could procure—a hundred dollars a barrel! He gave me a weeks notice only, and I was therefore much hurried in my arrangements. I could not raise a party, but Frank concluded that he would go too if the folks would but let him.
And here came the tug of war. All had been rather averse to my going; some thought that it was not the proper voyage for weak lungs, others talked about the perils of the sea, and the rest were afraid they knew not why. Nevertheless they gave their consent in my case, but with Frank they said it was very different. He was preparing for College, and had but a year longer—therefore it was really wicked for him to insist upon going. As to the merits of the case I shall not take upon me to decide—suffice it to say that after the Captain said that he intended to be absent but six weeks, Mother gave her consent. It was also settled that we should take our dog, Tiger, with us for the pleasure of his company, to try to teach him the mysteries of sea fowl shooting and to relieve Father from the trouble of taking care of him.
My journal should commence on Saturday, the 30th of June at about noon. For I then arrived in town from Cambridge and heard that the Captain had concluded to sail the latter part of the following week. I exerted myself strenuously as soon as I received the good news, in making the necessary preparations, although both Father & Mother were away from home (they had not yet arrived from the White Mts, whither they had gone with the Sayles’ on a sanitary excursion), for I feared that I should be pressed for time, expecting as usual to go out to Cambridge the following even'g.
My Parents got home the same night and appeared quite troubled when they found that I should really go. Before retiring I conversed long and earnestly with Father upon the subject, and he finally appeared to think about it as I did. But the next day there were great doubts as to my being able to go—for upon awaking in the morning I had lost my voice and seemed to have taken a cold that might perhaps cling to me through summer. This cold I had taken several days before by imprudently strolling with a classmate at too late an hour in the evening through the dampest glen of Mt. Auburn—at first I had but a sore throat which through want of care grew worse. Thanks to Mustard poultices however I began to mend after that Sunday.
But my cold kept me from going back to Cambridge and kept me in the house the first part of the week. At last the Captain came on Friday night to tell me that he should sail the next day—as for him he was all ready—his kettles aboard and his purchases made. Mother had packed our trunk for us all ready—plenty of old clothes and every thing needful for such a voyage—oil suits, thick boots, brandy and ammunition. Well the next day came and with it Dr. Wyman, who had at last concluded to be our fellow passenger if there was room for him. And of course there was for him, although one gentleman had been refused just before a birth for his son who was very anxious to accompany us. Their cases were however far different—the Dr in pursuit of the same objects as myself, and already somewhat inured to hardship by a journey with Dr H. J. Bigelow up the Megalloway River—the other had probably never been away from home and would have found but little comfort when sea sick in being hemmed up in the confined and smoky cabin of the little sloop.
I had previously spoken to Dr. Wyman of Labrador but he had supposed that it would be impossible for him to come. He had been appointed at the last meeting of the Naturalists of America their Secretary for this year, and he feared that he could not find any one to take his place. Prof. Horsford however volunteered and the Dr was at liberty. He was a great acquisition to our little corps (Frank, I and Tiger) and had he concluded to go before, I should have had but little difficulty in persuading several students—but it is perhaps better as it is, for the larger the number the greater would have been the probability of a quarrel, even Gus perhaps might have been induced to come, but he would have become homesick the first day out.
Well the Dr concluded to go and after making the little preparation that he had time for and bidding farewell to his ladye love, presented himself late in the even'g of Saturday, aforesaid 7 July 1849, at 14 Winter St. ready for action. We knew the Capt. was waiting for us, so after bidding all good bye we started for the wharf in company with Father who wished to see us off. It was a dark night and the moon had not yet risen—after Tiger had been swung aboard in the bight of a rope and we had shaken Pater's hand for the last time, we clambered down and left him alone upon the wharf—we waited some minutes for one of the crew, and still Father remained, walking up and down, looking sad enough. We had now started, swung away from the wharf, and the sail hoisted—we were off. As we sailed down the harbor and the Dr was pacing the deck with me our attention was attracted by a large fire in the direction of Cambridge—so we cogitated as to whose house it was and if it might not be one or the other of our rooms. But we soon began to feel sleepy and went below to stow ourselves in our berths for the first time.
And such a night as I passed—and Dr Wyman too—but Frank escaped with impunity. The fleas on board our old “Chusan” used to bite pretty ferociously but they were as nothing in comparison with the host of bed bugs that now assailed me. But luckily I lived through it without being compelled to retreat to the deck, and though rather drowsy the next day as might be expected, felt well otherwise and reached Provincetown about noon without as yet having been sea sick.
Here we landed—for the Captain had not been able to procure a cable to his liking in Boston, and as he had one at home he thought that it would be well to call for it and bid his folks good bye again. He had left his children all sick with the measles, but as they had begun to recover when he left them he felt but little anxiety on their account. But he now found his wife sick—dangerously they thought—at the very turning point of the disease. So the doctor was sent for—a thing that had not happened in his family for years. Her father shook his head and seemed anxious—his father who came down to the wharf to meet us with the other old man laughed and thought there was but little danger—so midway between hope and fear Atwood hurried to the house, whilst the naturalists of the expedition started for a stroll along shore. The Dr. procured some eggs of the Lophius [monkfish] which he afterwards subjected to his microscope and I noticed a large specimen of the Temnodon saltator [bluefish]. We then laid ourselves down upon the beach and watched for some time the habits of Orchestia, Idotea and Talitra, various species of sandfleas—after which we went back again to the wharf and Frank and I took a bath—a delicious one it was too—clear, cold water rather better than at Braman's. Upon going up to the house we found that the Capt. wished to stay till his wife began to get better so we concluded to accompany the Dr, who was now here, over to the town and wait at the tavern for the Captain. Whilst the Dr was with the sick woman, her father favored us with some of his experiences on the coast of Labrador and, changing his theme, in Dartmoor prison.
We found on reaching the other side of the harbor that Lothrop our old host had retired to private life and was devoting all his energies and cash too to his famous farm—the reclaiming of a bog by shovelling upon it a sand hill—any one else would despair of success—but he is as sanguine as ever. A man by the name of Fuller is now innkeeping—and keeps a very good house, everything considered—but I didn't like the fellows looks—perhaps because he is also a tailor—and yet nevertheless his hotel charges are very reasonable. After resting awhile we walked along the shore in the direction of Truro, admiring the agility of the hens in disposing of everything edible left by the tide. Instead of retracing our steps we took a sweep backwards into the interior as we returned and collected a few plants for my proposed herbarium. After seeing Capt. Sturgis of the Revenue pass along the sidewalk in all his naval majesty and watching the people on their way to church in the evening, Dr Wyman proposed that we should go too. So I started with him and we went into the first one we found—it was a Methodist, and we listened to a very fair sermon.
At night I suffered from a repetition of the attacks of the night before, perhaps because I would not sleep on a feather bed and stirred matters up in my endeavor to put the straw mattress uppermost—however that may be, I was forced to shift my quarters in the middle for the night to the floor. Our rooms were contiguous and opened into each other—as the Drs was much the largest, I stretched myself between his bed and the window just in the range of his boots—now as the moon shown rather dimly, the Dr., who had been awakened by the slight noise that I made, was somewhat at a loss as to the nature of the object on the floor—he started up bolt upright in bed and rubbed his eyes—but he couldn't make it out—and was forced to inquire—whereupon I succeeded in alleviating his fears; and explained to his satisfaction how it was that his boots had grown to so great a size.
The next day we took another walk but in the contrary direction to that of the preceding afternoon. We collected living specimens of Synapta [possibly sea cucumbers]—and the Dr. laid violent hands upon the skull of a horse-mackerel and a fragment of whalebone with the fringe yet upon it—both of which he intends for his college lectures. Frank also caught a Gasterosteus which at first I thought might be the Noveboracensis but which proved the occidentalis [type of stickleback]. Tiger at this time unfortunately made a hearty repast upon some half putrid blubber and afterwards in his gambols through the surf swallowed a goodly quantity of salt water—they did not combine well with each other and acted emetically—unfitting him entirely for the events of the afternoon.
Dr Wyman now completed his purchases and at noon the Capt. came for us. On our way to the Sloop Dr Wyman's straw hat blew overboard—it was recovered—yet its fate was only deferred for a time—for afterwards whilst entering the harbor at Gt. Mecatina it blew off again and after eddying round for a few moments with the current it was seen no more. But I must not anticipate. We were now once more fairly under weigh—in a short time we lost sight of the highlands of Cape Cod, and were at sea—and soon sea sick too—as we expected. This was Monday, 9 July—On Friday the 13th we made the first land—Jedore, on the Coast of Nova Scotia, just east of Halifax. We had thus far had moderate weather with plenty of fog—had been but little sea sick but as yet had not mustered up sufficient courage to take our meals below—and had met with but little to break the tediousness of a voyage already in so short a time beginning to be monotonous. Had spoken with but one vessel, the Southerner of Providence bound for Picton—she was in ballast and passed on quickly—had seen but few porpoises, one of which the Capt. harpooned but lost him again—we could see as he leaped convulsively high out of the water, the blood pouring from the wound—had seen several miles away a steamer—a few stormy petrels—had caught a few crustaceans with the hand net—and this was about all.
We had now plenty before us of interest—coasting along shore close to the land—fishing boats all around, some going freely before the wind, others laying to and catching mackerel—the varied shore, now protected by islands, again lofty and bold or low and marked by a line of white breakers. And it seem too as if the fires in the woods that had raged so fiercely of late were not yet extinguished, for the atmosphere was as if filled with smoke, so that the sun could be stared at even at noon, looking like the moon, whilst his rays gave forth but little heat. We spoke now with a schooner belonging to Prince Edwards Island, the Frances, and got the necessary information with regard to the coast—she was a poor sailor and we left her far behind. We also fell in with a fishing boat belonging to a man with whom our skipper was acquainted and whose brother he had sail once under him, and was now at Provincetown—so that we had plenty of news for them.
On Saturday night, the 14th, after a vexatious calm and fog, we arrived at Wilmot in the entrance of the Gut of Canso—much to our joy for we feared that we should be compelled to take the other track and go round Cape Scattery, the eastern part of Cape Breton Island, probably through thick fog. The entrance to the Harbor of Wilmot is somewhat intricate with many shoals and ledges—as we arrived with a head wind we were compelled to beat up through going quite near their wooden light house on Cranberry Isl'd. We now found that we had escaped for a time at least the rough sea and had gotten into comparatively smooth water. As we neared the town, which though small and poor is pleasantly situated on the side of a hill, our spirits decidedly began to rise—flocks of sheep close to us, birds singing merrily on either side and to us in harmony with the lowing of the cows and the tinkling of their bells as they slowly move homewards combined to give us a good appetite for supper. Before we anchored which was close by some other American vessels, mackerel fishers, a boat was already along side to satisfy the curiosity of the blue noses—for a sloop from the States is to them a strange sight. The Collector soon came too, to get his customary dues for the light houses along the coast—he was quite a gentlemanly personage and had but little of the self importance, almost characteristic of these Englishmen.
As the next morning was raining we went no farther—but took a dory and rowed to Burial Island—so called from having been the depository of the bones of manifold Frenchmen—they belonged to a fleet fitted out in former times against the English Colonies—it put in here for a harbor—a pestilence broke out among them and put an end to the expedition. As the little island washes gradually away their bones become manifest—we found but one—a humerus—which the Dr. appropriated—we collected some shells, specimens of a Gunnellus [small eel-shaped fish] and a Cottus [sculpin] and a dried Cryptacanthody [ghostfish]. Capt. A. went ashore to Church, but we staid aboard and wrote letters home.
After going ashore the next morning, the 16th, and examining the town a little, we again got under weigh. As far as I could learn from the inhabitants, they suffer much from causes that could easily be removed. Under the present law, trade with the Yankees is not allowed in any place but a port of entry, so that the people here get but poor prices for their fish, receive only goods in return, no cash, and are charged most exorbitant prices—so that they have good cause for grumbling. We now passed through a very narrow channel, the little Gut; and stood across a large bay which brought us at the close of the day into the Gut of Canso itself. This beautiful strait, one of the outlets of the St. Lawrence, is about 20 miles long and is very narrow, averaging perhaps a mile and a half. Its banks are very high, in some places sloping, in others very precipitous—and have many large farms upon them—till lately large crops of potatoes were annually raised here—but since the rot has prevailed, this source of supply has been entirely cut off. We stopped at one of the numerous stations to procure wood and water—but as we arrived late in the afternoon, the Capt deferred operations till next morning—so that we had an opportunity of going ashore twice. We here saw the first gannets and a fish hawk—collected several species of plants—the Cornus Canadensis [bunchberry] grows here in abundance—found the Totanus maculatus [probably the spotted sandpiper] breeding—noticed the Robin and Barn Swallow—the Rana sylvatica [type of frog]—and caught some small fish that I was unable to preserve on account of the weather of the next day. I think that the Hydrargira pisculenta was among them.
The occupant of the place, Parks by name, is a ship carpenter and an old acquaintance of Atwoods, but he was away at work at Prince Edwards isld. We found wood here in plenty at $2.00 a cord well sawed and split—and of the best kind. Whilst here an English schooner, the Forest of Halifax, stopped to wood up and as she was bound also for Labrador and her Captain very well acquainted with the coast, we agreed to join company. Whilst sailing up through the Gut with a fair wind we were again boarded by a collector of light duties but a look at the Wilmot receipt was all sufficient. Our fair wind on emerging into the Gulf of St Lawrence soon became a perfect gale—and though already under shortened sail we were compelled to lay to several times that our tardy companion might not be left behind. Our fair breeze continued—on Wednesday the 18th we called to our minds Commencement, then being celebrated at Cambridge—on Thursday, the ceremonies of the Φ B K. At last on Friday, the 20th, after many horizon clouds had cheated us, we came in sight of Labrador—our breeze though we still moved onwards began to moderate. As we neared the land the birds began to be seen—small flocks of Puffins and Guillemots. We wasted much powder and shot upon them, but owing to our haste, to no purpose—after a while Dr Wyman brought down a razor billed Auk—and instantly Tiger sprang overboard—the bird though seemingly dead had been but slightly wounded—and manfully attacked the unsuspecting dog—he swam round and round it, loudly barking and seeking in vain for another opportunity of seizing it—as soon however as a boat was launched to his rescue he dashed boldly forward—the bird did the same—and pursuer and pursued were hauled in together closely clinging to each other.
We had hoped to be able to stop at the Magdalen Islands, where Dr Wyman expected to find Walrus bones and I Gannet's eggs—but such was the fury of the gale that we were compelled to pass them. We were now close to the Island of St Marys, close to the mainland—here the Captains determined to harbor for a short time. As the wind left us just off the entrance and a deep calm succeeded, the passengers launched a dory and started for the shore—it was quite a long pull for us novices and when we at last reached the land we were fully prepared to enjoy whatever might turn up—and we did enjoy it mightily—we had just been struck by the clearness of the water which allowed us to see the bottom at many fathoms depth and by the beauty of the sea urchins and shells there abundant. We were now delighted with the perfume of plants unknown to us and by the general alpine character of all that met our eyes. We found on the islands but few birds but these even were not familiar to us—everything was new. Soon the vessels were warped into the harbor but we did not return to ours until night, fatigued yet amply repaid for our stroll.
Upon closer acquaintance we found our friend the English Captain and his mate very clever fellows. Although their vessel hailed from Halifax they were from Cape Negro, far to the westward, but this I find is the common practice—for all the vessels for miles around to bear upon their sterns the name of the nearest port of entry. Atwood had already gotten into the Englishmans good graces—for we had often spoken each other whilst in the Gulf and once even though it was very rough at the time, our skipper had boarded him with a package of newspapers in his pocket. So we found him kind and obliging to us all. He was bound for Bras d'or to engage in the Herring fishery, and had on board a large seine which was to supply both him and another vessel which was to meet him there.
The next day, the 21st, we still remained in harbor shut off by a head wind. Dr Wyman and I went on shore with our collecting boxes, whilst all the rest except Capt. A. went off to the outer ledges egging. The shore party had a fine ramble, explored the main island thoroughly and made a few small collections. We now found[,] as upon the summits of the White Mts.[,] forests of stunted firs so firmly matted together as to readily bear our weight. The vegetation was confined to but a few species of plants sprinkled among the dry moss. Those best known to the fishermen are the “scald apple” not yet ripe—said to resemble the blackberry save in its color which is white—and the Curlew berry, which forms the principal diet of the Esquimaux curlew, soon to arrive from the North. The back of the island, which is filled with lagoons of rain water and swampy bogs, arises up in a succession of steep cliffs like those so well described by Audubon. I ascended them with much difficulty and when at last at the top, I found that I could not thence see the bottom they were so perpendicular. The harbor though small is a fine one, commonly called “Yankee” though Audubon styles it “American” harbor.
On our return we found the Skipper talking with a Frenchman who had just come in his boat to see the strangers. He had with him several young Esquimaux of the Mountaineer breed—and is himself a seal fisher and has resided with his family on the coast for a long time. He was very urgent to have us call at his house, which is but a league from the harbor, and see him catch salmon. He has a large weir stretched at the mouth of a brook and this morning had taken therefrom 30 salmon and 15 fine trout—this is his business throughout the summer—his fish when packed bringing a ready market at Quebec. We hoped to call on him the next day but were unable.
After his departure our eggers got back and were surprised to find us already feasting on some eggs that the Frenchman had given us—we found them first rate—these were fried—afterwards we found boiled ones equally good—though to be sure we had then to be very circumspect lest we might find within, on breaking them, a chicken or something worse. But the crews had got plenty of eggs and plenty of birds—the only inhabitants of these rocks are the sharp billed Noddy or Murre (Uria troile), the blunt billed (Alca torda) and the Parrokeet or Puffin (Morman Arcticus). Some eggs of the latter which were new to our collection, Frank got by exerting himself, for they dig extensive burrows under ground in which they breed.
Sunday, the 22d, was a very foggy day, so that we could not yet sail again. I did not complain however for there was plenty yet to see. Though perhaps we should have otherwise occupied ourselves at home, we began the day as we had the 7th day before at Wilmot by fishing—there we caught a mess of Conners—here we caught a bushel basket full of Sculpins (Cottus Groenl.). Whilst rowing about the harbor afterwards with Dr Wyman, we had the good fortune to observe the Buccinum undatum [marine snail] depositing its eggs which are called by the fishermen sea corn. I picked up a variety of sea mosses for Aunt Lizzie and then started with the English Capt for a walk—gun on my shoulder of course. We had shortly before seen a fox on shore, but ere we could reach it he had disappeared. I however shot an Eider Duck which Tiger brought out of the water for me in fine style, giving me hopes that I should yet be able to train him, for he begins to lose his fear of a gun.
In the afternoon I started in the Englishman's whale boat with part of his crew for the Egg Islands—for I feared that otherwise I should lose as Dr Wyman did, an opportunity of visiting them at all. It was very rough and we had some difficulty in landing—when we did however I was amazed at the immense number of birds here breeding—we found in places the eggs so thickly strewn that some care was necessary to avoid treading upon them—and to procure birds it was only necessary to knock them upon the head as they stumbled past. Tiger dug out many puffins, whose eggs I speedily appropriated, and after I had filled my collecting box I was glad to leave a place where such wholesale murder is daily committed. Although such great quantities of eggs are carried away or destroyed by the Eggers, it seems as if the number of birds could hardly have ever been larger than at present.
We got under way once more the next morning, hoping to reach St. Augustine before night, but though there was a very heavy sea running, our Englishman must needs stop at the Murre Rocks, so called, to get some more eggs—so that we had to harbor for the night at the Island of Great Mecatina. Though the Englishman's whale boats were able to land on the rocks despite the surf, we were afraid to attempt it in a dory, and had to lay to for two long hours. I was soon sea sick again much to my sorrow—began to feel better however as we neared our harbor—and by the time that we had anchored was O.K. once more.
I find that on an expedition like the present, that the better one is prepared, at least as far as sporting apparatus is concerned, the less trouble there will be; and that the more careful he is of what he has, the less he will be apt to grumble—now this theory is founded on practice—for I have already had trouble with use of the nipples of my double-barreled gun, but thanks to Dr Wyman I may hope that it will now do—and on the other hand one of our men lost the only box of wads I had that would fit the big musket—much to my sorrow was it that I gave them all into his charge.
In the harbor we had now entered we found one of the Labrador Eggers so much talked of—a small schooner from St. Johns Newfdld with a piratical looking crew—she had just completed her cargo, only twenty hundred dozen eggs! and was to return home the next day. We learned from her what then filled the Capt with dismay, but which afterwards proved not so bad as it then seemed—that an American schooner, the Richmond, had been on the coast for about a fortnight—that she came from Boston, and her business was to procure Cod liver oil. Atwood soon conjectured who fitted her out and he began to feel afraid that he might not succeed as well as he expected, if he was compelled to compete with another.
We got ashore with some difficulty as the wind swept through the narrow pass that forms the harbor with great violence, and as it was already late in the afternoon our stay was much shorter than we could have wished. We found some distance from high water mark, evidences of powerful action of the sea in bye gone times—great cliffs hollowed out into caves and immense rocks rounded smoothly as marble. The ascent from the beach was steep and toilsome—we then found a large lake but were compelled to return without any further exploration. I should have liked much to have spent a day on the island for we came across tracks which plainly showed that large animals of some kind lived here, seemingly in abundance. I caught from our stern a Cottus much differing from any we have at home—the larger epim on the operculum being branched like the horn of a stag. We found out as soon as we arrived on the coast the advantage both with regard to the acquisition of specimens and the acquisition of dinners to be derived from keeping line always in the water whilst in harbor—and I have also found out that I ought to have brought with me [Sir John] Richardson's book on the Northern Fishes, if I wish as I certainly do to identify any of the larger species.
We left the harbor the next day with John Bull as before—the wind though moderate was fair and the day pleasant and when early in the afternoon we arrived off the entrance for the last harbor between Mecatina and Bras d'or the skippers with but little dubitation concluded to keep on. We demurred somewhat to this—we had enough of nights at sea—but were glad the next day that it was as it was. Before sunset we were in sight of the three remarkable hills just behind the place of our destination. In the night as I feared we were compelled to lay to for fear of going too far, but I happily was asleep at the time and therefore saved from the infliction—this is one of the three most disagreeable points of a voyage to me—getting caught in a fog or a calm and laying to—in the first case one dare not sail, in the second can not, but in the last will not though he may.
During the night a most tremendous sea suddenly appeared and we came near capsizing several times. Almost everything moveable kept rolling to leeward and I had some difficulty in keeping in my birth. We philosophized a little as to the cause of this great commotion and came to the conclusion that there must have been a violent gale of wind lately on the Newfoundld side of the Gulf—however that may be we saw larger waves the next day than we had hitherto by far.
Wednesday, 25 July. We arrived at Bras d'or—from which town I suppose Labrador took its name—town it can hardly be called, though I have just done so, for it cannot boast of more than two families. Nevertheless the settlement appears imposing as we sail through the narrow entrance to the harbor between the long lines of breakers—particularly did it on the day that we came—the flag of England waved from a tall staff—next day we learned the reason—that a child had just been born. We passed close to the light house as we sailed along—and immediately Dr Wyman cast longing eyes upon it, even proposing indeed to hook it—for it was a mighty humerus of a whale. Into the harbor we turned and found there a large fleet of vessels, American and French—swarms of men were busied upon the neighboring rocks spreading the fish to dry—this reminds me of the jokes we have daily got off on the “Cape Cod turkies”, which relish much better than I thought at sea. On most of the vessels here are one or more Newfoundland dogs just purchased and they are kept fighting with each other and swimming about the greater part of the time by their sailor masters.
The Frenchmen are nearly all from the Magdalen Islands but they come also from the Isle of Jersey in great numbers notwithstanding the risk that they run—for whilst the American enjoy equal rights with the English by the last treaty to fish on the Labrador coast, the French are entirely interdicted from it; yearly the English cruiser drives them off to the joy of the residents, who believe that their chance of success is then much greater, alleging that the French keep the fish to themselves by alluring them with great quantities of bait. If the French elude the vigilance of the Man of War, they get well paid, for their government allow them 11 francs bounty per quintal of fish, whilst the English get none.
Dr Wyman now begins to find patients to his great horror—in vain he protests that he has retired from practice for the report is spread that he is a Doctor. The vessels come poorly fitted out with medicine, and many cases of sickness and wounding of course occur—though he had no instruments or medicines he was nevertheless required to examine the cases and say what might have been done if the necessary apparatus were only at hand. If we had only been prepared in this line we might have driven a thriving trade.
We found here the Richmond, that oil schooner—but she had failed—she had been fitted out on a large scale with fancy apparatus, which from ten barrels of liver distilled but 28 galls. of oil—so her Capt. gave it up as a bad job thinking that he could make much more money by hastening home and catching mackerel. He had therefore purchased a cargo of common cod oil and was to start for home the next morning, if fair, and endeavor to palm off this inferior oil fit only for the tanner and currier, as the genuine “oleum jec, &c”. Upon the receipt of this intelligence, down we sat that evening and spun off the letters for home, for this was an unlooked for chance of sending them.
We arrived early enough in the day to go ashore and soon started for the establishment of Mr Jones, the greatest I believe on the coast. I may here perhaps remark that the present state of the last line to this but one is owing to a sweep of Tiger's tail—he goes up and down the cabin's stairs with a spring and is now very expert at it—but he just tried without having had room to gather himself together for the leap and so came back again sooner than he expected, his tail sweeping nicely over my paper.
To return to Jones'. My curiosity had been previously excited about him by Audubon's description—he called upon them and was most hospitably treated—and yet he was mean enough to expose to ridicule in his book those little verdancies that are to be expected among people entirely secluded from the rest of the world—and in the most pointed manner he did it too, which makes it so much the worse. We found them exceedingly polite and attentive to us, doing all in their power to accommodate us and seemed anxious that we should make them a real visit. Mr Jones, the father, had been a resident here for many years and has amassed much money, though his wife has the reputation of spending it much faster than he acquires it by her extravagance in her frequent visits to Quebec. His greatest doings have been in the seal-fishery—using immense nets and catching sometime 250 at a haul. He himself retired from business this last year, going to Nova Scotia and putting every thing in the hands of his sons—but he is now here on a visit—so that we met the veteran himself. The establishment is a large one, giving employment to over 40 workmen who are now in summer chiefly employed in the cod fishery. Upon nearing the house we were greeted by a large pack of dogs both Newfoundld and Esquimaux who appeared very glad to see us, testifying their approval of us in the manner characteristic of the latter breed—by lying down and rolling about very funnily. Kindly greeted, we enjoyed our call at the house much—we found the wife of one of the sons to be quite a lady, appearing and conversing very well—she was moreover a fine taxidermist—we saw some skins nicely set up by her—willow grouse, spruce partridge, an owl and a hawk. The house is large and in pretty good style—such as would never be looked for in Labrador. After a time we returned well laden with mice, flowers and seal skulls. The carcasses of many seals are packed down for the winter food of the dogs. The rest with the blubber are put in vats where the oil is pressed out by the superposition of heavy weights.
The next day was rainy and unpleasant—yet I started with our two men to try my hand at trout fishing—after a long row we found our brook at the head of the bay, but though we persevered like martyrs but one fish was caught and that by H. R. We did not come back empty handed however, for we brought a good mess—of turnip tops—much to the mystification of those who staid aboard. I never saw a more beautiful stream than one of the brooks we explored today—it far exceeded any I found at the White Mts. though I might not perhaps have liked it so well had I not had on good boots and oil clothes—for I thus was enabled to dive into all of its most secret recesses despite slipping or falling. My oil clothes are now often used—indeed they are indispensable—and yet on the voyage to Russia I scarcely put them on—interest versus indifference.
The next day, 27th, the skipper thought that he would pull up his mudhook and go a little farther. Accordingly after we had rowed several miles, gone ashore, and I had climbed nearly up a steep and almost unclimbable hill after a hawks nest, I happened to look in the direction of the sloop and saw her immense flag flying as a signal for us to come aboard as quickly as possible. So down the hill I hurried and we pulled for the “J. Sawyer”—when almost to her we descried Atwood taking his ease on the deck of a French vessel—we hailed him and he informed us that we had exerted ourselves to no purpose as the wind had changed and he should not sail—so, grumbling we went aboard. We had however seen in our row lobsters sporting in their native element and Dr Wyman had secured, after much labor and some inconvenience to his olfactory organ, the head of a porpoise—that porpoise head—sad to relate, after he had got it nicely cleaned it slipped from the cord with which he had suspended it in the water and disappeared for ever from his sight.
After dinner Mr Jones called for some newspapers that I had promised him and we went home with him, our skipper promising to come after us. After a long walk we returned to the house and found Atwood awaiting us. We were shown the sledges and dog harness; the sealskins and boots therefrom manufactured—snow shoes—antlers of rein deer and many other strange things—and Mrs Jones gave me the eggs of some Tringa.
Dr Wyman has during these two calls upon Mr Jones collected many seal skulls, culling them from an immense tract of skeletons, the spoil of years—and judging by the heaps of chrysalids interspersed, the carcasses must indeed have crawled after death. We find the country undermined in every direction by rats which may be caught with very little trouble. And every day I meet plants new to me which are of course added to my herbarium—indeed I now think that I shall be able to show more plants than any thing else on my return.
Saturday, 28 July, saw us on our way Eastward—passing outside of Paroquet Island, which is said to be the breeding place of more Puffins than can be found on all the rest of the coast, we next sailed close by the Gulch where only one or two vessels can be moored at a time the cove is so narrow—past Green Island, Isle de Bois on one hand and on the other Pinnoir, L'ance sablon, l'ance de Loup, Fort eau with its waterfall. We continued our course until we had entered Red Bay—here we anchored. We had hoped to see some ice bergs which had been seen the day before by a vessel which arrived at Bras d'or just before we left, but though they were then aground, the wind swept them away during the night.
We have now gone as far to the East as we shall go—almost to the mouth of the straits it is true but yet I should have liked if possible to have seen Chateau which as a naval station when in the hands of the French commanded this entrance to the Gulf of St Lawrence as Louisburg did the other one. The more I see of the way things are now carried on here and in Nova Scotia by the English and compare it with the traces which though almost effaced are still here and there to be found of the French, the more I am induced to think it would have been better for America as a whole if this region had not thus changed masters. Here at Red Bay roof tiles are disinterred in abundance which tradition brings from France—nowadays the few miserable dwellings to be found are covered with turf which though producing blossoms is yet but poor thatch; the shores are lined with the skeletons of immense whales, crumbling to pieces through age—hundreds of their skulls may be found within the space of a few rods—the memory of the oldest inhabitant cannot reach back to the period of their capture, for during his lifetime not more than 30 whales have been taken on the coast north of L'ance sablon, which is 40 miles to the westward of this place, by English and American whalers, all toto—tradition says that this is evidence of a flourishing whale fishery in the hands of the French. Now civilization is as backward in Labrador as it was in the last century, and I cannot help comparing it with what it would have been under the French, if we take these relics as evidence.
We found but a few American vessels anchored in Red Bay—which is nevertheless one of the best harbors on the coast—on the west side of the narrow entrance is a range of lofty hills, on the other is Saddle Island which with the reefs adjacent forms a line of communications with the eastern shore. Some distance up the bay lies a brig at anchor, the annual bringer and returner of the greater part of the population—they are all from Newfoundland and I am told that there are now at least one hundred vessels lying in the harbor north of this place who come in the same manner as does aforesaid brig. The settlement upon first sight presents a very strange appearance—the houses low and covered with sods, whilst close by are the long fish stages built out over the water of spruce and fir poles, often with the branches still remaining, and capable of containing many thousand fish; the interior of both houses and stages are as interesting as their outside. The people as I have said return for the most part to Newf'dl'd at the close of summer so that their dwellings as well the summer houses of part of those who remain, their owner going back a mile or two into the woods in winter to tenements fit for that season, are mere shanties although nevertheless quite comfortable; they are usually of two rooms, one for the day and the other for the night—the latter I am not qualified to describe—the former is large, well garnished with household utensils, whilst the guns suspended over the ample settles and the numerous band of water dogs give evidence that fowls are sometimes as well as fish, which is the usual food, subjected to rather warm usage in the immense fireplace, surmounted with its funnel shaped wooden chimney as large almost as itself.
The winter houses of which but one or two are inhabited throughout the year are much more substantial fabrics though but little larger—the snows fall then to a great depth and the cold is so intense that the whole straits are frozen up—solid enough for a road over them to Newfoundland. Yet the people keep out of doors much of the time—snow shoes fast bound they visit their numerous traps and pursue with their dogs at their heels the various animals then coming out from the deep woods of the interior—caribou, wolves, foxes and the many kinds whose fur is sought. But when the folks have got back again to the house, they do keep warm—for they have immense great stoves with plenty of good wood—this is brought a distance of several miles, for the woods near the coast though dense and tangled enough are yet composed for the most part of stunted and gnarled firs of but few feet in height.
Thus for their dwellings—the stages in which they prepare the fish, their chief means of subsistence, are built as I have said of small poles, loosely fastened together—this arrangement, beside saving them much labor in procuring and preparing the building materials, allows free ventilation and perfect drainage, both essential in curing fish—whilst the length to which they extend over the water permits all the garbage and offal which drop through the floor to be floated off by the tide or consumed by sculping Atque crustaceans and the laden boats to approach to the very doors. Within everything is arranged in the most convenient manner and most methodically likewise, acres almost of fish packed heads and tails together as nearly as possible considering that the heads have been cut off and thrown away—when thoroughly saturated with salt they are laid out to dry in the sun—here on fir boughs, at Bras d'or on the rocks; if a fog or signs of rain appear they are stacked together like so much grain. Near the sea-ward opening of the stage just removed from it by a space of capacity sufficient to contain perhaps a thousand fish are one or more large tables—at these at the proper time the operators take their stand. These are usually the women—the men catch the fish, they do the rest; petticoats and sleeves tucked up and begirt with an oiled canvass apron they are ready for action; one adroitly pierces a fish on the heap at her side with a one-pronged pitch fork and tosses it upon the table—another catches it and with her two-edged knife, cuts its throat and slits its weasand, passes it to the third who stands in a great tub and beheads and disembowels it, sliding at the same time the liver through an opening in the table to a barrel from which it is afterwards removed to the oil puncheon whilst the head and entrails fall into the water through a hole at her feet; she in her turn hands it to a fourth who splits it and removes the greater portion of the back bone—if this be that of a large fish the air bladder, called in piscatory language the sound, is now cut from it and reserved as has likewise been the tongue; after all this overhauling the fish slips from the hands of the splitter into a barrow, which is rounded beneath that it may slide with ease over the slippery floor—in this with perhaps an hundred others it is dragged to the pile upon which it is to be placed by the boys and sprinkled with salt—there to remain until fit to be carried out doors and exposed to the stare of the sun.
We arrived as before said on the 28 July—at noon; though at the time of our anchoring it blew somewhat furiously we were very soon on shore and on our rambles again. We walked along the western shore of the bay until we came to the first of the two trout brooks which flow into it at its further extremity—here Frank and Dr. Wyman came to a stand and shortly began to retrace their steps to the boat—but as I had already crossed the stream and proceeded some distance towards several of the winter cabins that I wished to examine, I thought it would be as easy to keep on as to go back, but I soon discovered my mistake—after accomplishing about a mile through thickets and over rocks I found my progress rather suddenly arrested by another brook, much wider and deeper than that which had just before proved so formidable to my fellow travellers—nevertheless I was determined to proceed onward if possible, and after following or rather making a track along its band for about a mile towards its source at last succeeded after divers jumps and wadings in getting across. I found that my walk was yet far from being ended. After a while however I got into the settlement and soon became largely acquainted with the dogs and the good folks. The very first man that I met after the ice was broken began to inquire for a physician and when I told him that I would send Dr Wyman to see his sick child he was so pleased that he insisted that we should take tea with him the following evening—but the child proving then rather worse, said spree was deferred sine die. So I wended my way along chatting with one and laughing with another till I reached a stage where I found an American boat's crew waiting who carried me forthwith to the sloop—and though tired down I sat and began to skin a “yellow shanks” shot on the bank of that brook.
The following Sabbath strange to say we went to Church where we found an overflowing audience if it may so be called. The meeting was held in one of the houses which is weekly lent by its owner for that purpose—and as during nine months of the year the inhabitants who remain here over winter are debarred from public religious service, such an opportunity is well improved by them—the hour of assembly is late in the afternoon in order that the day may be one of rest to the body as to the soul, for when Saturday night comes to the weary fisherman, he usually feels greatly inclined to make a long sleep of it. When they had all arrived, the flag, which took the place of bells, was hauled down—it was the English jack—and the services commenced. The sermon which was pointed was good and well read, the prayers offered up by two fisherman were as earnest as would have been those of the apostles of old and the congregation of which a large part were American sailors were remarkably attentive—but the singing was too peculiar by far for gravity to listen to, even though in Church—suffice it to say that it went much beyond any of my previous experience in that line—the fancy touches excelling those of Lebords & Touffi.
Monday 30th. Whilst Frank and the Dr tried the backwoods with their guns I waged war against the trout and caught 15 nice large ones, some weighing 2 lbs or more—though Atwood thinks them to be the fontinalis [brook trout] but I am dubious as to that—at any rate however that may be they afforded me fine sport, and gave us a goodly supper; previous to which that we might add to the appetites already acquired we continued our examination of the town and the people therein—beholding after supper with wondering eyes the exploits of the women in the dressing fish business. The American women, grumble as they may, lead a “dreadful” easy life in comparison with these Newfoundld ladies—and yet these fish wives when condoled with on their hard lot laugh at it and consider it as no more than their duty to do as much as the men in as much as they were taken as helpmates and are besides allowed to be the better half—so they work all summer long and then go home and there forget that they ever saw a codfish. Moreover they are almost amphibious animals for they are exceedingly “handy” with a boat—can row and scull as well as any man—whilst the children with such good examples before them do their share in making the pot boil. I saw one little fellow perhaps 9 years old who, as his father said, caught fish enough to pay his board and buy powder and shot sufficient for the winters gunning.
Tuesday, 31 July, was spent, at least the first part of it, on Saddle Island which though large we thoroughly ransacked, and searched its shores with the dip net. The N W point is the richest in respect to that sort of game. We found abundance of echini [sea urchins] and star fish with a large crab which appears to differ from ours—we noticed near the shore only the males and find in the stomach of codfish only females, they having all gone into deep water to deposit their spawn—many specimens of a Buccinum [marine snail] with their clusters of eggs much resembling those of the undatum which we saw at St Marys—the eggs of both species are called sea corn. Next we crossed to the other side where I deposited the Dr. and Frank who ascended the lofty range of hills which rise abruptly from the waters edge and there shot a pair of hawks—concerning which there is still a doubt as to who was the shooter thereof for they fired both times simultaneously—whilst I rowed on to the western arm of the bay, a deep cove considered famous for Capelin seining, to try trout-fishing—but it was all in vain. On returning I found the unfortunates that I had left saturating themselves in the smoke of a “smudge” that they had lighted for the purpose for routing the army of mosquitoes and black flies that had attacked them. Worse verily than the top of Mt. Washington, which is bad enough, is Labrador in this branch of Entomology and it is said that they become more numerous and ferocious as one proceeds farther north—we were soon all of us as if were laboring under some severe eruptive disease.
Wednesday was unpleasant and we therefore had an opportunity of looking over the collections made thus far—we did more—and at last put the dredge in order, a job that has been staring us in the face ever since we left home. I had then been so pressed for time that I could only procure a frame for one trusting to the Captain to fit me a net to the same—but he has been too busy, so with the help of the Dr I manufactured one from an old coffee bag that I had brought with me as a boot repository. We found it work pretty well from the vessel though the bottom was barren and yielded but a few Annelids [segmented worms].
The next day which was Thursday, August 20, was devoted to penetrating into the barrens of the interior if we could. I have hitherto stated that a couple of brooks flow into the upper part of the bay—the space between them and for some distance outside of them is a tangled wilderness which extends back several miles—some mountain ranges slope towards the shore and it is in the vallies between them that the brooks run down. Beyond the ridges is said to be an elevated, desolate region in which wolves and deer are frequently met with—we wanted of course to visit it, and as we had been told that a path led through the woods to some winter houses on their outskirts, we started to make the attempt. Hauling our boat high up on the shore we found a path which answered the description of the one of which we were in search, but upon following it till we were tired we found it abruptly terminate at a spot where they had been cutting wood—so off we trudged to find another which proved upon trial to be one of the many paths made in autumn by the hunters in which they set their traps—this proved as unsatisfactory as the third which was another wood path—by this time we were tired and gave it up in despair—so returned to the shore where I took to trout fishing and they to gunning. When they returned for the second time with a pair of Canada Jays and the head of a woodchuck that Dr. W. had just shot I showed them a good string of trout as my share of the spoils. In the evening I tried hard but in vain to shoot an owl—should have felt sorry at my ill luck had not a man brought a fine specimen on board soon after, whose skin I forthwith prepared.
I find by the way that it is difficult even merely to skin birds on ship board for it is almost impossible thoroughly to dry them—and again there is great danger of delaying poisoning and packing till it is too late—I nearly lost my Eider Duck and a Puffin procured at St. Marys because I was sea sick again before I had a chance of touching them—we reached Bras d'or just in time for them, as in a short time they would have spoiled. This skinning birds is exceedingly tiresome work—coming home as I usually have after fatiguing jaunts and sitting down for an hour or so over bird skins when I felt much more like turning into my berth. But it is not quite so bad as what I may call with truth my daily task—mending clothes—the knees of my pantaloons get torn every day by the dead tree tops which reach just about so high and I have to patch and darn till at last scarcely any trace of the original fabric is to be seen. I am now reduced to my last pair of unmentionables and am compelled therefore to be very careful—was my stay on the coast to be long, should be as badly off in respect to shoe leather also.
Friday, 3 August, proving a fair day we decided to make our first overland expedition and I am inclined to think that it will also be our last—for a walk of twelve miles in such a country at this, now swampy and now rocky, is more fatiguing than one of thrice the distance at home. Having already had a slight foretaste of the travelling we took advantage of an opportunity to go part of the way to Black alias Green Bay, our destination and about 6 miles off in a boat which was about to look for Capelin, the favorite food of the Codfish, for bait. They said that they would carry us until they found their shoal of fish—we hoped that they would find none short of the bay—but to our sorrow ere we had gone a mile they were around us in abundance; so we landed and whilst the Dr who appeared to be suddenly inspired with remarkable energy pushed forward on his journey, Frank and I seated ourselves upon a rock and watched the dragging of the seine—it was full and filled the bottom of the mammoth dory, as we called the great flat bottomed bait boat. The two sexes of the Mallotus which is of about the smelts average size, differ exceedingly both as regards form and coloring—they are nearly as well flavored as the smelt, tasting much like them, and it seems peculiar that the Cod while feeding so eagerly on the one will not deign even to nibble at the other. They make capital bait until the herring begin to appear, which will be in a day or two, when they will be almost entirely refused by the cod, whilst both herring and sand launce are eaten with avidity.
After a long and tiresome walk, in which we rejoined the Dr, we arrived there; the path had been along the shore which is very much broken, and each time that we crossed another valley and after some tugging reached the top ridge of another promontory we promised ourselves that the cove before us would be the one of which we were in search. But we crossed I think 7 such valleys and surmounted as many promontories ere we reached Black Bay. Yet when we got there we were well repaid—as we looked over the brow of the last hill the bay lay before us—fully as large as Red Bay yet much more wild and to our mind—for though it is the retreat of three families in winter, yet in summer it is rarely visited save by the Capelin boats, which do not always proceed as far, as we found to our cost. The rocks brought there in the spring by the ice bergs and scattered promiscuously about its confines were covered with gulls, the few pioneers of the great flocks of Esquimaux Curlew, Numenius borealis, were whistling along the shore and divers great seals were bobbing their heads above water now and then with astonishing familiarity. I felt strongly impelled to endeavor to cultivate a more intimate acquaintance with the latter, so behind a big rock I posted myself and began the cannonading, but the shot in my wire cartridges were too small and although a smart wound would now and again make one spring about a little I did not succeed in killing “e'er a one.” So whilst the others went into the gunning business I concluded to try to get a mess of trout for dinner. After great exertions I cut a stick that was to serve for a pole and it was no small job to find one—nothing but thorny firs—I found some stunted alders and willows, several of which I cut and trimmed and then condemned them as too short without even giving them a trial—at last in despair I sat myself down before a dead fir tree, took out my jackknife, bid defiance to the black flies and went to work—and it was work—for the wood was twisted and knotty and as hard as lignum vitae—finally I cut it off and, allowing the stubs of branches to remain as they were, fastened to it my fish line which I always carry with me and in 15 minutes had upon an alder branch as many pounds of splendid trout—some of them small monsters. Having caught more than sufficient, though I might have hauled them out ad libitum, they bit so ravenously, I started for our encampment.
This was on the grass in front of a winter house—under an open shed a good fire was blazing at which Frank and the Dr were preparing to roast yellow legs; upon my arrival they suspended operations to dress the fish—this was done in a very simple and primitive manner—as soon as cleaned, they were split transfixed by splinters of wood and were now ready for use—a few coals were raked together, the fish laid directly upon them and they were soon nicely broiled. Our dinner nice as it was acquired additional relish from clear cold water, with which Labrador abounds, served up in a clam shell and diluted with the aqua vitae from my pocket pistol. Refreshed greatly thereby we started on our backward track after examining the internal arrangements of aforesaid winter houses, from one of which I cabbaged an old raisin box wherein to pack some of my curiosities. Were it not that such things were so exceedingly scarce up in this region I should have been tempted to groan worse than I did at the weight thus added to that of the blunderbuss Kingsarm and imposed upon my shoulders. The walk seemed to lengthen before us and the miles to extend themselves into leagues, yet we kept on, counting the valleys and the promontories and hoping even more ardently than before that the next would be the last—we longed for a boat and at last one appeared at the very place where we had disembarked in the morning—the man thereof who was picking up driftwood along the shore met us at a brook where we stopped to imbibe and kindly offered us a passage. Frank and I of course gladly accepted as did Tiger also, but Dr W. had been in as great a hurry on his homeward as on his awayward journey and was in such a perspiration in consequence as made him afraid of adding to a slight cold that he had—so he decided on tramping it clear through much to the man's astonishment and our pity; we reached the vessel long before he did the shore opposite—after laughing heartily at his appearance as he stood on a rock near a fish stage waving his cap and shouting lustily for a boat, I went in compassion to his rescue.
This day if I recollect aright is the day set apart by the President of the United States as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer because of the Cholera—but we forgot it at the time—yet made up for our neglect the next day by staying aboard all day because of the fatigue consequent on the preceding day's exertions—all we did was in the epistology line since we had just heard of an opportunity of sending letters home by one of the American vessels in the harbor which had completed her cargo of fish or as they say had “wet all her salt.”
Tiger has just made these sheets bear witness of his prowess again—before it was by sweeping his tail over one, now he has tumbled into my lap as I am writing. Dr Wyman tried to coax him into his berth which is at the top of the cabin, but there was no room for him and he came down most unceremoniously upon me as I sat below him upon the transom—to console him for his fall the cook gives him a hot flapjack which burns his mouth—though he has had this trick so often played upon him that he is becoming more careful—were he not a most good natured dog he would sometimes wax wrathy for the Dr and our sailor cook often subject him to rather strange treatment—marking his eyebrows with flour spectacles and divers other such actions, yet he appears to bear them no ill will for all that. His favorite performance is coming up and down the cabin stairs which are very steep and he is compelled to do it with a jump—whilst I write this, one of them is tickling his ears with a twig, another of the botherations wreaked upon him. The other night we put him into a hammock, which did not seem to suit his ideas of pleasurable variety at all—I have slept once in it and like much to be rocked thus to sleep.
Sunday, 5 August. We did not feel like going to Church and therefore as it was a pleasant day we went in altogether another direction—if we had gone with the skipper we should have had his ill luck for he found that no minister appeared to discourse to the minus congregation. We ascended the high hills on the westward of the harbor entrance—rising as they do like Mt Washington peak above peak, we kept on past the frequent lakes thus elevated until we reached the highest; from this we had a far reaching view in every direction—toward the North a distant mountain range formed the background whilst before us were the straits of Belle isle connecting visibly the Gulf of St Lawrence with the great ocean—Newfoundland extended itself along beyond them rising high above the horizon—the shore was beneath our feet with its breakers and silent coves on the one side—on the other a troutbrook pouring itself forth from its valley channel into our picturesque Red Bay. The rocks all around scratched by ancient glaciers, the precipitous cliffs and the vast wilderness—all united to form a picture far surpassing aught my eyes have ever beheld. Thus far we had enjoyed a pleasant walk but the moment that we turned our faces shoreward the flies attacked us—mosquito upon black fly in clouds and vice versa; in self defense we lighted a patch of moss for a smudge and then as the wind was blowing hard we had as much as we could do to put the fire out again—by dint of hard stamping we succeeded at last—and then met the insects once more—equal to the gallinippers of the Mexican gulf are these black tormentors. We now found that if we had taken this route the other day when we were in search of the inner barrens we should have easily succeeded in reaching them—the higher ground being for the most part destitute of trees of any size and clothed only with moss and lichens. Several pairs of hawks have bred on these hills, which we have several times endeavored to shoot, but as yet only two of the young have fallen.
P.S. This being my last sheet of paper, I am compelled to retrace my steps as I continue this log by writing on the preceding blank pages, so turn these sheets upside down and begin on the opposite page.
The next day was washing day at home but not here—we have made the valuable discovery that one feels as comfortable in dirty clothes as in clean ones—I should be afraid to tell how many days and nights the present garments have encased me, for we turn in at night “all standing”, it is so convenient getting up the next morning—or how many times my face has been washed since I left home. It seemed rather strange at first to live in such a manner but habit in this case at least has proved second nature.
By the way, one of the trading vessels that frequent the coast came in here last Saturday and staid over night going off again the next morning. She was fitted out from Halifax and belongs to two brothers who have made quite large fortunes in the business, by cheating most inordinately the poor inhabitants. The traders use but little specie and in barter obtain all the “natural productions” of the country—namely, furs, seal skins, salmon, salt fish and oil. Were it not for their jealous interference there would probably be much more illicit traffic with the Americans, who fear that the men of war liable at any time to heave in sight may, if informed of an infraction of the law treat them to a passage to Quebec or England at the Queen's expense as used sometimes to happen to the mackerel fishermen who might venture too near the shores of the Bay of Chaleur, and find themselves in a calm and within range of the guns of a revenue cutter.
I began to speak of the next day, it was Monday, the 6th. We again entered upon an unsuccessful campaign against the hawks on the opposite hills, in the course of which, after endangering my neck several times, I descended the cliffs on the inner side of the mountains and followed thence the brook down to its mouth. And then we took to writing letters again, dutifully making the most of every opportunity to inform those at home who may like to know that we are not yet eaten by wolves or demolished entirely by black flies. This time, another fishing smack was ready to sail—they delayed their departure one day that they might get up a regular “spree” with the inhabitants, such as Audubon saw in Newfoundland—but the fish were so plenty that when night came and the fish had been cleaned, the women were all too tired for dancing—so to my sorrow they gave it up.
We have been in this harbor long enough—more than a week—yet see but little prospect of a change whilst cod livers are plenty and quite a fair proportion of oleum. We have been for miles in every direction and the days work begins to resemble too much that of the previous and following days—should not mind it if we could but see the daily or even the weekly newspapers—but they can scarcely be had—anything for excitement—the trader reported the other day that the troubles in Canada were becoming serious and that the Cholera had broken out at St. Johns, Newfdld, which escaped I believe in 1832, and was raging in Montreal. This news gave us a theme to talk about a little while, but we were soon ready for another, if we could get it. Really that great pack of newspapers that I brought with me and has been distributed along the coast must have carried rejoicing with it to those who remain here throughout the year and even to those who have been upon the coast only for a month or two.
We are here just at the wrong season of the year, too late for eggs, too early for birds themselves—a fortnight later and we should have been in the very best of the shooting, but the curlew have begun to come and in immense flocks though very shy—so the next day, Tuesday, we took our stations upon Saddle Island—where we shot enough for our mess table and our dissecting knives too—as far as I was therein concerned I found that the skin was a near neighbor to a most to me alarming layer of fat. Whilst engaged myself upon one's pelt, Dr & Frank amused themselves historically by disinterring some of those aforementioned French tiles, which testify to the good old times of yore.
Wednesday, 8th. We again started for curlew—stopping a short time at Saddle Island and then going on to the “Twins”, a pair of islets to the Eastward of that, where we had but indifferent luck though Dr Wyman shot a fine raven on the wing.
Thursday. Was one of the humdrum days—in which busily engaged on shore, it was in poking about over regions that we had already ransacked. I continue however every day to meet with some plant that I had not yet seen or to add something, perhaps a bird skin to my small collection—as on the following day, Friday, when Dr & I at low tide before breakfast procured with our dip nets some fine hermit crabs—one of the men placed too at night a net in the mouth of the trout brook, which yielded next morning besides several of the supposed “fontinalis” a fine specimen of another species, it may be I think a Thymallus, which I forthwith skinned and stuffed as I did on Sunday one of the other trout. These are the first fish that I have ever undertaken and I succeeded tolerably and like the operation much better than I expected.
We hoped to have left for Brador by today, but still remain. Whilst on Saddle Island this morning a trader belonging to St Johns came into harbor and toward night the Halifax trader who was here a week ago—the St Johns vessel which we boarded for the purpose of procuring a box to pack specimens in, is used in the spring as a sealing vessel and still had upon her the strong outer sheathing to ward off the ice with—they then seek the first opening in the ice, crowd on all sails and jam her in as far as possible—there to remain until the ice breaks up—mean time they pursue the seals upon the ice, often going miles from the vessel and running great risk of getting caught in the fog or having the ice part behind them, in either case losing the vessel, i.e., drowning.
Sunday 12th August was anything but a day of rest to us for we traced the nearest brook for several miles of its course from its mouth upwards—in its bed—jumping from rock to rock—then we climbed up the precipitous mountain side and retraced the path that we had taken the week before. Upon reaching the shore we found our skipper hauling up his boat and preparing to ascend the heights to enjoy a glance at the straits and Newfoundland. Now he had told me the night before as we were indulging in “high-low-jacks”, our usual preventive against taking too much sleep, that he would preach the next day to the shores men, were it not that he was afraid we should go to hear him; instead of which most dutiful course of conduct he actually disturbed the congregation and broke up the meeting. How, will soon be seen. The skipper had started for his walk, having said that he should build a little fire on the hillside just for fun—so we launched our boat upon the waves looking as we neared the sloop for the smoke of a little smudge on shore. But the wind was strong—the Capt. touched the moss with his match probably saying at the same time in slow measured tones, “oleum”—but the “jecoris aselli” came out with a jerk, for the fire had spread. Atwood stuck his lighted pipe hastily into his pocket, jumped with his heavy fish boots into the worst of the flames and began to stamp lustily but all in vain—for the fire fanned by the wind was too strong for him—and the smoke that we looked to see became a roaring, crackling flame. Happily the wind drove the fire towards the water, else nothing could have prevented its extending for miles toward the interior—the smoke laden with cinders rolled across the bay passing over the “emigrant” brig lying at anchor and the little island of the two Pennies, Foxie and Whaler, with its twin settlements—so that there was some chance of the dry turf roofs catching fire—down came the flag of the church from its staff—out poured the people and came sailing over in their boats to the assistance of the endangered. But though neither brig nor houses began to burn yet the fire kept on—all attempts to check it proving fruitless—the Captain of course keeping a long face and condoling with the angry inhabitants, giving his pipe the credit of having been the innocent cause of the disaster—had it been either of us, we should have been blamed much, but as the skipper smokes so often and lights his pipe with a match, even though a bright fire blazes in the hearth, the people took him at his word!
During the night the fire was well nigh extinguished in the heavy dew—and Frank and I shot several species of sparrows in the burnt district in the morning whither they had been attracted by the great numbers of moths flitting about—when we had arrived on board the fire began to blaze forth again—the wind fanning the embers and drifting the sparks towards the moss now dried by the sun. Capt. A. and one of his hands started for the shore fully determined to put out every spark this time. We going meanwhile to Saddle Island where we shot a good string of “peeps.” During this time our firemen were fighting the flames with might and main, but they were a little too late and it got the upper hand again and burnt fiercely all day. At noon the cutter of the Lord Bishop of Newfoundland came into the harbor and anchored—she had been expected for a long time, for she was to bring a clergyman who was to remain on the coast here during the winter as a sort of missionary. His Lordship and several of his pastoral staff were also on board. Now we did not learn the vessels business until the next morning—and our skipper who was on deck when she first hove in sight was as might be supposed in a most unenviable state of mind—for he saw that she was a cutter and supposed of course a revenue cutter. The bishop's flag, which he did not recognize, at the mast head and the “cannons” of the church showing themselves at the open port holes confirmed him in his belief, and therefore he wished himself any where almost save in Red Bay, for by illicit trading with the inhabitants he had obtained both livers and oil and thereby exposed his vessel to seizure and himself to a heavy fine if not imprisonment—this fire too that he had builded he was afraid might have altered the opinion formerly good of the people concerning him so that they might inform against him. Therefore he expected all through the night to hear the cutter's boat grate along side and himself summoned upon deck. But the next morning, Tuesday, 14th, when all hands of us went off to quench the embers of the fire if they still showed any signs of activity we found out about the cutter, and Dr and I rowed alongside of her to inquire for news—her captain showed us over the vessel and told us about the bishop who was then with his suite performing service on shore—that his name was Edward Field—had possessed this diocese which included Newfoundland, Labrador as far as Blanc sablon, and the Bermudas, for several years—his salary is £1500 which he entirely expends every year, mostly in supporting this vessel presented to him by one of the English episcopacy, in which he goes his rounds, converting and confirming souls. The cutter does not appear to be a very fast sailor but is kept in fine order with every convenience that could be wished for, just such a one as we ought to have to make this cruise—the bishop has his own private apartment astern of the main cabin which is very large and environed by hair cloth sofas with curtains above them which slide forward on their rods at night and form so many sleeping apartments—at the head of the table is a little altar surmounted by the bishop's mitre—and we saw ready for use a fishing rod that with the brace of curlew hanging from the prayer book stand on deck we thought might be characteristic. After this survey we concluded to go and attend church—we found the house full, Atwood sitting demurely in the midst and the ceremonies already begun—we stood in the doorway and remained till all was over—the exhortation in which people were admonished that in the coming christening two godfathers and one godmother were necessary for every male child and one godfather and two godmothers for every female child—then the baptism and lastly the sermon—the drift of which was that it was the bounden duty of every one to become a member of the Church of England. After dinner his Lordship sent his clergy to repay our visit of the morning and to invite us to tea with him—we showed them some of our collections and accepted the invitation—we went with Capt Atwood, Frank didn't feel like it and therefore staid aboard, and we had a jolly time, staying till late in the evening—and conversing upon every variety of subject—many of them such as a “reverend father in God” like his Lordship would hardly be expected to know anything about.
This day, Tuesday, is the first of the session of American Naturalists of Cambridge, the Secretaryship of which the Dr so willingly left to Prof Horsford—in my humble opinion said seat of learning is the most miserable place for the meeting that could well have been selected—for but very few of the savants of Boston, whilst they could drop in for a few moments every hour or two if it were in that city, can now find the time to go out of town to it—and of the strangers assembled very many would be desirous of devoting a part at least of the time to seeing the “lions” which as it is will be very inconvenient to them.
Wednesday, 15th, In the hopes that our skipper would be able to sail for Brador, we started in a boat for the westward with the intention of forelaying the sloop if she hove in sight, after a long row in which I shot a puffin, of which as well as Uria troile I have seen several specimens, Audubon's assertion about their coming no farther than Brador to the contrary notwithstanding, and Dr. W. a few curlew as a sort of offset to the goodly bunch that I shot yesterday morning before breakfast—we landed and found the nest of the rough legged falcon, Falco lagopus—the old bird as well as the young were soon procured. I was anxious to add the maternal skin to my collection, but the Dr as usual must needs have the skeleton though the shot which I allowed him to take rightly belonged to me and though any other hawk would have served his purpose just as well since he only wanted a skeleton typical of the genus—whilst this particular species on account of the doubts attaching themselves to it would have been peculiarly valuable to me—“live and learn” however I begin to find worthy of attention.
Upon our return, which was very difficult on account of head wind and adverse current though the dense fog of the morning had disappeared, we found awaiting us an invitation of the Bishop to dinner—we were compelled however through fatigue to decline and in the course of the afternoon the Dr carried to him my apology as well as his own—his return was followed by the advent of the Bishop who wished to have a look at our vessel—everything was in confusion, dirty and uninviting—tea board not yet cleared away, cabin unswept and the like—yet his Lordship and his clerical staff must needs come down cellar and make themselves at home, which they did—he possesses the faculty of accommodating himself to circumstances, though living in such fine style in his own domain—age about 55, well formed and handsome—wearing sable garments, looped up hat, silk apron and small clothes. I have been thus explicit about the man to whom I could not force myself to apply more than the simple “Sir” though by his followers he was addressed as “my Lord”—because I had an opportunity of a long and familiar conversation, prefaced by and ending with a hearty shake of the hand, with him in my red shirt sleeves and in the sacred precincts of a Yankee sloop. Something to brag of, perhaps.
After the departure of our Englishman, who it must be confessed has acted very politely, I went and took a cold bath—too cold by far for comfort—and yet counteracting probably part of the unpleasant feelings occasioned by the innumerable black flies of the morning. Meanwhile another addition was being made to this fleet at anchor—an English schooner coming for the salt fish accumulated by the shores men, and which contradicts the report that the Cholera had broken out in St. Johns.
Thus far I have had but little time for writing, and have therefore been rather concise, but as I am rather tired this morning, August 16th, I will defer skinning the heap of divers birds before me and, whilst we are waiting for the fog to depart that we may take advantage of the fair wind, give a little time to description that should rightly have been given in the outset.
In the first place—as regards our little sloop—built as she is of white oak, she is strong and a good sea boat and moreover a tolerably fast sailor. She has been used exclusively for carrying fish and lobsters to market alive and has for that purpose a large well amidships which communicates by openings with the water outside; these holes are visible from above and are a source of great wonder to those who have before never seen the like—even Gus. if I recollect aright, expressed some doubts of the safety in going to sea in a vessel with holes in her bottom. Though her tonnage is but 33 tons, she has yet a cabin quite large for her size—it is usually so completely filled by rattletraps of various sorts however that there is not much room to spare—and when strangers descend into it in addition to the people now attached to her, that little room is no longer to spare—on the contrary, far from it. But the greatest drawback to our comfort in our barracks is a smoky stove in which we sometimes think a kreosote distilling apparatus might be placed with advantage. I have often ran great risk of suffocation from that same stove. We have berths which are both pretty small and pretty well stocked with other occupants—although I have suffered less than the others for the last week or two—they are but five in number, at least but so many are large enough to be used—whilst the number of people to sleep in them is six; this difficulty is surmounted by stringing a hammock along the cabin roof whilst in harbor—this is not needed at sea for a watch is always then on deck and when it is changed, a berth changes also its tenant. Tiger also sleeps in the cabin and a berth even in very rough weather is sometimes shared with him—he shows peculiar agility in ascending and descending the steep cabin stairs, as well as in getting [in] and out of whatever boats may come alongside—prompted in this latter instance by inquisitiveness, which is sometimes rewarded by the discovery of a few dried Capelin, a favorite morsel with him. We have hitherto shipped but few seas although once or twice it is true we have been unceremoniously saluted by a small torrent of salt water coming down the open hatchway. Whilst on this subject I may as well deprecate the flavor of our drinking water—no matter how pleasant it may have been or may be at first, it is soon rendered unpleasant by the casks in which it is placed—two of them not having been cleansed for several years and the other having previously been filled with alcohol so that it now tastes decidedly rummy or of “hard times” as the fishermen on the Grand Banks call the rinsings of their barrel when they have exhausted the rum. Our vessel cuts quite a figure when under full sail and with her tremendously long flag with “J. Sawyer” imprinted therein in gigantic letters flying from the mast head—probably to the intense astonishment of the natives. The deck has been covered with the apparatus for trying out oil since we have been in this harbor. The little stove with its superimposed kettle, which is lifted therefrom by the pulley which hoists the mainsail—cans of oil, buckets of livers, and barrels of “gurry” or used up liver, only waiting to be thrown overboard—with the bait mill in which the “jecur” is ground into porridge, “fit to be eaten with a spoon.” From the offal thrown overboard from our manufactory, the bay has been often thoroughly greased.
Thus for the vessel—now for the skipper—that well-known man—so well known that I can give but little new concerning him. Had his inclination to gain information been as strong as it is, if placed in a situation where he could have had the opportunity of acquiring his fill of knowledge he might have made an eminent man, considering that he has never been at school but a few weeks and that he has always been a fisherman, he is in reality eminent. He taught his own father how to write—he has become practically a scientific man, if that be possible, and is looked up to at home as the “scholar” of the place. His memory is most retentive and one or two readings of a book are sufficient for him to have learnt it by heart—as he has shown several times to my astonishment. That he knows all our sea fish by their scientific names is but a small example of this. Moreover his natural shrewdness which he has often displayed in his dealings here, show the man of sound head and quick thought even when in a “fix” apparently, as when he first heard of the Richmonds being on the coast for oil at Gt. Mecatina—and when he saw the supposed cutter coming into harbor the other day—he showed but little signs of being troubled save by redoubled smoking and most energetic whittling—always cool in an unlooked for emergency, he was ready to condole with the people who did not like the big fire last Sunday and to produce his ever present pipe.
Two men compose our crew—one of them according to his own account has filled every station on board ship from the galley upwards—a cousin I believe of the midshipman hung at the yard arm of the U.S. brig Somers. He is quite good looking and sports a ferocious moustache, has been a schoolmaster and sometimes gives marks of it, as well as of his good opinion of himself—to the displeasure of our other one, who whilst the former is engaged in trying out oil fills the place of cook. This last is a very good natured, obliging fellow, whose great delight is playing cards—he has been with Atwood for a long time and has shared in his various adventures—one of the most ludicrous of which happened last spring whilst running mackerel from Provincetown to Boston—it was in the night, the skipper very tired at the helm—felt sleepy and ran ashore at Castle Island wharf—so that waking with a jerk he found the bowsprit wedged between two great blocks of granite on the wharf—for a time there was tribulation, sure enough—they were afraid that they would be left by the tide in the morning to be a laughing stock to their neighbors who would pass by on their way to Boston with a trip of fish—but they got off safely before daylight—and it was even kept a secret from the folks at home. Peter, that's his name, has but one failing—he likes as well as Dr Wyman to plague Tiger, who nevertheless has taken a particular fancy to him, despite his tormentory faculty.
Of the remaining personages, Dr. Wyman and Frank, I shall say nothing—they might retaliate.
August 16th was foggy, rainy and unpleasant—so as we were somewhat fatigued by the yesterday's exertions we staid on board and amused ourselves as we could—partly as I have already said in writing. Another trader arrived tonight from the Eastward, in whose cabin I passed the evening and gathered therefrom the little news there was to be had—whilst Dr Wyman was letting off some fireworks that he had been preparing during the afternoon.
Friday 17th, to our amazement was ushered in by a tolerably fair wind—the first that has occurred during the week that we have been waiting for one. Our friend the bishop got first under weigh, bound east—we soon followed his example, as did also another of the Americans to race with the bishop, for her Captain was going to Chatteux to marry a Labrador wife—and the English trader to race with us. It was really quite pleasant to get to sea again after having thus been cooped up in Red Bay for three weeks, and as we passed in succession by the places that we had seen before, they seemed to us like old friends. Though a strong current was running against us, we soon reached Brador—where we heard, for us, bad news—whilst we had been all this time at Red Bay with no fish and doing nothing, both cod and herring were unusually plenty at Brador, so that with the one several vessels had completed their cargoes and gone home whilst of the other a thousand barrels were daily caught at one haul of the seine—Atwood at this wished he had remained here for he might have filled with oleum and been home by this time—whilst we should have been able to collect many more specimens that we have done.
The next day we were off early—upon landing the Dr directed his steps towards Jones’ where he procured some more skulls, and we started towards the interior. Shot several species of marsh bird and found the nest of Falco lagopus whence we got both a young bird and an egg—the young one was fledged and upon my clambering down into the nest, in which were some large mice ready for supper, he flew to the ground—Tiger was upon him ere he could lift himself up for another flight—whereupon he threw himself upon his back and presented his weapons with defiance, but Frank soon secured him. I endeavored for a long while to shoot one of the old birds, but they were so shy through Frank's wounding one with small shot that it was impossible. Frank also shot this morning a small sparrow hawk. I noticed here as well as at Red Bay evident marks of the action of former glaciers—the huge boulders that had been borne along on the surface of the ice with their sharp angles and unabraded surfaces—the moraines of rounded stones and the scratches upon the rocks beneath.
Upon reaching our boat, we started for Paroquet Island though it was rather late in the afternoon and we had eaten no dinner. The wind at first was slight and the sea was comparatively smooth so that we flattered ourselves that we should have an easy time of it—ere we arrived however, the wind freshened and gave symptoms of a coming heavy breeze. We kept on nevertheless and made good our landing on the ugly ledge of rocks that forms the shore of the island. We had been accompanied on our voyage by a number of small porpoises who had been very familiar and approached very near to us—at one time too near so that the creature on emerging was frightened and bounded several feet out of the water. We found the island completely undermined by the Puffins—every inch of soil and every cranny in the rocks taken possession of—Audubon says that more Puffins breed here than on all the rest of the coast—however that may be we found an immense number as well as of the Razor bill—got some birds and a few eggs. We launched our boat in a manner that would have done credit to the most experienced, though the sea was running very high—it was altogether too rough for a dory and for some time I was afraid that we should be swamped—indeed we did ship several seas, but we got back safe, and I went to work and skinned some birds. I want very much to carry the young hawk, got to day, home that he may acquire the mature plumage, but I fear that it will not be practicable as one of our men has anticipated me by several days and has a pet hawk of a different species, which by the way has twice flown overboard in its longings for liberty.
Sunday 19th, was unpleasant once more so we staid on board and amongst other things I wrote home after skinning some of yesterday's birds. I have just been seriously cogitating as to whether I ought not to go home in a vessel that starts on Tuesday for “down east”, as there are some doubts about our getting home on the 1st of September—have decided however after much deliberation to stick by the sloop. Towards night exerted ourselves so much as to go ashore on one of the neighboring islands and look about a little.
Monday was also dismal, yet the Dr and I started to see the hauling of the herring seines—after a hard row we came near being swamped whilst trying to land on the beach near Mr. Jones'—shipped a heavy sea in the dory and had to turn about and land a long ways back. Then after a long walk to the herring cove we found that the nets would not be shot today—much to my disappointment as we shall probably sail tomorrow and they catch with the herring both lampreys (perhaps though these are lings) and flounders—specimens of which I want.
Dr Wyman has run away from me as usual—and I therefore had the pleasure of dining without him at Mr Jones', whose youngest son had been with me all the morning—enjoyed the meal the best of any I have yet had on the coast.
After some hesitation I put that young hawk to death with ether, for it would have been difficult to have got it home alive—was very sorry as it had given symptoms already of resignation to confinement.
Last night we went on board of a schooner just arrived from the North to see the skin of an enormous polar bear—14 charges of bullets and a knock on the head with an axe before he fell; he appeared to have been as large as an ox.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 21 & 22, were both unpleasant, therefore very little was accomplished in comparison with what we wished—nevertheless we paid a visit to the oldest son of the “old settler”—he lives a long distance from the old man's—back at the head of the bay. When here before I had examined and explored in the neighborhood of his winter house which is just at the foot of the waterfall near which I caught the solitary trout aforementioned—now we went to the summer house. We found his children all at school!—learning the three “Rs” under the guidance of a Frenchman, who appeared to maintain the necessary amount of gravity. Not knowing but that we might stumble across a large pack of dogs, Frank had taken Tiger with him in another direction—but the precaution though usually a good one proved unnecessary in this instance, as the few that he now owns were at his father's on the other side of the Bay—the rest had been killed whilst fighting among themselves—this belligerent propensity so often displayed in this manner is sometimes I find productive of loss to the inhabitants of a different kind, as was exemplified in the case of the cow which furnished Audubon with milk when he was here—the dogs drove the poor creature into a pond and then killed her—they tried the same game a short time since with the only surviving horse, but his heels proved too powerful for them. We procured here some more seal skulls—but they were only those of the “Harp”—old and young—the latter are called “Bedlamers”—have not been able to find skulls either of the Hooded or Elephant seals although they are often taken here by the fishers; if the reports we received from the traders at Red Bay be true, it would seem that the seal fishery both on the coast and on the ice off Newfoundland must soon cease to be lucrative, if the Greenland whalers are as successful in this line as they have been the present year—some vessels having taken as many as 20,000—whereas here a thousand would be considered a great number.
The oil gotten from seal blubber that we saw here far exceeded in purity any that I had previously met with. We also found another Esquimaux woman—as ugly looking as the other—busily occupied over the washtub. I made arrangements with the oldest boy, Randall Jones by name, to get me birds’ eggs next year—whether he will be as good as his word remains to be proved.
If I had but made this call before I might perhaps have gone up to his hunting cabin, several leagues up country where we should have found many skulls of wolves and caribou—though it would have been rather difficult to bring a pair of the latter's antlers down to the coast—sometimes they weigh more than 50 lbs even when the rest of the body does not exceed 200.
Our pull back to the sloop was long and tough as is almost always the case here at Bras d'or—the main shore is so far back from the islands which contain the harbor that the heavy swell that comes down the straits has a chance to roll in with great violence—but as Frank has now nearly acquired the art of steering—we got home with more ease than we expected—especially as we had to pass among some rather ferocious breakers.
Thursday, the 24th promised to be a fair day—so after breakfast—which by the way was composed chiefly of flounder caught in the dip net the night before—I caught at the same time a lobster and some fine crabs that I wished to carry to Boston, but the Fates as it proved had otherwise ordained. After breakfast, as I said just before, we began a survey of the circumambient islands, where we met with little success in gunning; Frank shot a brace of plover, I a curlew and Dr Wyman fired at peeps with my rifle, but in vain. We found however some consolation in picking and swallowing “baked” alias “scald apples”—the only passable fruit or rather berry that can be found in this latitude, unless it be the little blueberries imbedded in the sand that we found the other day on our way to the herring cove—where so many luscious bloaters were lieing on the sand to rot. Whilst on shore a man met me in great trepidation who wanted Dr W. to go and see a cook who had just blown himself up whilst trying to light a fire with flint and gunpowder, but the Dr wasn't to be found.
After dinner as the wind gave no indications of a favorable change we started off with one of the men to try again for some trout—as before, I caught the only one—went in the boat a long distance up the brook whilst the Dr went to look at the waterfall in the other brook. We went up at high tide and consequently had but little difficulty, but as the water soon fell several feet we found a return not so easy—so our sailor got overboard—with the more fortitude since he had already fallen into the brook and gotten wet to the skin—and dragged us over the many shoals till we nearly reached the mouth and fell in with Dr Wyman again—we now thought of the turnip patch and determined to visit it once more—which we did forthwith—I had shoes on and therefore mounted on our Charons back to cross the shallows—but he stuck fast in the mud and I was forced to descend into the water and receive a wetting—after which we got our turnips, and found on emerging from behind the rocks into the bay that the wind had changed, several vessels had already gone and that our sloop was under sail tacking about and evidently waiting uneasily for our appearance. At last we got on board, having previously given notice of our whereabouts by a discharge of artillery—and though it was dusk were soon sailing down the Straits of Belle Isle leaving Bras d'or far behind.
The next day increased the wind, so that by night we were off Little Mecatina Island and then saw our last of Labrador.
Saturday the 26th saw us once more in the Gulf of St Lawrence and once more desperately sea sick. Dr Wyman, unfortunate individual, having this time by far the worst of it. Before night we were so near the Magdalen Islds that our skipper deemed it unsafe to carry sail with so heavy a breeze, so hove her to all night.
And the next morning kept on our course with but little wind, passing close to the Gannet rocks—those high and almost inaccessible cliffs rising abruptly from the bosom of the St. Lawrence—the breeding place of so many thousands of Gannets—the air was filled with them and the summit of the rock was as if covered by snow whilst the cries of the birds were heard far above the roar of the breakers below. I shot one monster which fell croaking upon the water, but the noise of the gun did not appear to be heard or at any rate was not heeded by the sitting birds, which crowded every ledge and projection of the rocks.
The wind now died away and we remained becalmed amongst the Magdalenes most of the time close to so called Isle of Entry till Monday night—when we had a little breeze for a little while and then it became as calm as before.
And here I am after dinner on Tuesday, 28th August reclining on the head of the bowsprit and killing time by thus bringing up my accounts. We are now close to the shore of Nova Scotia, a few miles to the N W of the entrance of the Gut of Canso—becalmed all the morning under a scorching sun we gladly received the gentle breeze that is now impelling us along at the rate of about a knot an hour. Several sails are in sight on either side, a couple of which we boarded this forenoon and from one of them which left Picton or as they call it “Pig toc”, we got a Halifax newspaper which Frank is now devouring and the news that the Cholera is badly raging in Boston—also that the wind which we found rather strong last Saturday in the Gulf, blew here a very gale.
We came so fast and so far during the first two days of this passage that I began to hope that we should reach home by the 1st of September after all—but now begin to despair again—thought some when at Bras d'or of leaving the sloop and coming home in a pinkey that Atwood thought would sail faster than any other vessel on the coast. I altered my mind however and sent a letter by her instead of going myself—we sailed the same afternoon and she is probably now far astern. Mem. I find on looking back a few pages that I have already mentioned that vessel, but no matter, so long ago that I had forgotten it.
52 days today since we left home and no homesickness at all till we started for home—when of course all on board were attacked by the disease—all wishing that we could get home without the pains of the passage, but I suppose that this is natural enough—and especially now that we have had such an account of the Cholera's doings we begin to feel anxious about those that we left behind. Calm weather too is very bad for homesickness—nothing to do but lie still and think and almost always the thoughts run in that direction.
We have had some glorious sunsets up here and northern lights too in all their splendor—especially at Red Bay; and the weather has been just the sort for one in summer—cool and pleasant enough—until now—this morning's sun made me dread the weather I shall probably find in Boston.
Insects I found none in Labrador—and though sorry for those who may expect them at my hand, I must say that it was a source of great pleasure to me. I have not forgotten the moschitoes and black flies—they cant be fairly called insects—too common and vulgar for that—must call them “bugs”—the dearth of “insects” made a lounge on the soft moss much more refreshing than otherwise could have been—I wish it were so at home likewise.
And now whilst I write we are becalmed again—alas!
For several days the air has been filled with thick smoke like that we found when we neared the southern coast of Nova Scotia on our passage out—this, as did that, comes form a large fire in the woods, said to be in the neighborhood of Halifax and Jedore—of what extent may be conjectured from the fact that we first fell in with it off the Gannet Rocks in the St Lawrence—several hundred miles from its origin.
Tuesday night, though a bright moon was shining over head, the smoke was so dense that we derived but little benefit from it—so as a strong adverse current was carrying us towards the land we were compelled to anchor over night; it made but little difference to us, for as far as regarded wind it was as calm as before.
The next day we worked into the mouth of the Gut of Canso and anchored at the first woodpile. Previously as we were slowly drifting along, we boarded several vessels—from one of which was procured a copy of the “Daily Mail” only about a fortnight old and therefore very acceptable. A great many vessels are windbound in the neighborhood here as completely as we are and their passengers are probably as tired of the delay and have recourse to as many expedients to kill time—one of which that we noticed was to ride an unfortunate horse about deck—he looked as resigned as the old fellows that go round and round in the mill ring.
We now had a chance to go ashore again and well improved it—I plunged forthwith into the deep woods much resembling those in the upper part of New Hampshire and so unlike those of Labrador—such a hunting ground as I like for there was but little underbrush and no black flies. Came back well laden, bringing in addition to plants and “helices” [snails] a nice plump “tetrao umbellus” [probably a ruffed grouse] for the hawk, our prisoner of war—which by the by I think will prove to be “Falco sancti-johannis”. Frank on my return showed me a pair of beautiful woodpeckers—his share of the spoil. I noticed moreover that “Rana sylvatica” [common North American frog] and “Bufo Americanus” [common North American toad] which we saw when here before are not alone—for I saw a fine specimen of “R[ana]. halecina” [spotted frog] and Dr. W. caught a salamander, the “erythronota” and a frog, perhaps the “fontinalis”.
In the evening I went, as I had often done at Labrador, off in the boat to have a good long row—after a pull of several miles concluded to return again—but got caught shortly in a most direful fog and unfortunately had lost sight of land, which did not find again until after much groping about in worse than darkness—after it once hove in sight however, and we found it only by happening to notice the distant chirp of the crickets, I had but little difficulty in regaining the sloop.
Tonight I feasted, wonderful to relate, on rice and milk. Thursday morning before we left our anchoring place we saw a birch bark canoe approaching us—thought at first that it was from a tribe camped just below that we intended soon to visit—but as it drew nearer the paddlers lost more and more the appearance of “ingines”. One of them now hailed our skipper as an old acquaintance—and proved to be a cousin of his who had just lost his vessel, on her return from a mackerel cruise, on Prince Edwards Island—his brother who was a companion in his woe he had just left in a British schooner that was slowly approaching and as they were anxious to reach home as quickly as possible Atwood agreed to take them with us—much to our sorrow, for crowded as we have been hitherto I am sure that we shall now be perfectly jammed.
After this addition to our number we got under weigh for the Indians, whose wigwams soon appeared in “Pirate Cove”. Here we anchored and remained till the next day, spending all our loose change upon little birch bark canoes and porcupine quill boxes and baskets. It was but a small fragment, numbering only about 20 wigwams, of the great tribe on the borders of Brador Lake, just over here in Cape Breton Island—and presented I suppose the usual features of an Indian camp nowadays, dogs, cats and ragged laziness. We both had most of them alongside and visited, though with some fears about vermin, all the wigwams—there were only about half a dozen beauties among them who recalled very forcibly the schoolgirl song about the “Indian girl on the Juniata”—of course they received the greater part of our attention. They live literally from hand to mouth, though if they chose, they might fare well—as it is, young lobsters seemed to be the staff of life with them, with now and then a crow or so. The children, many of whom were almost in a state of nudity, appeared to take to a canoe naturally and paddled them with great dexterity—I tried the operation in one of them with one of our crew and found them a much better beast to ride on than I had been led to suppose by the accounts of others, though I should hardly dare to venture on a canoe race with an Indian squaw. The papooses looked just as I expected to find them—in their little cradles all ready to be slung on the maternal back.
We had a ramble by moonlight this evening along the shore of this beautiful cove—very romantic it was—still and quiet all around, a little brook murmuring as it trickled down from the hills whilst just below us in the shadow of one of the islets was a canoe with its dusky crew spearing fish by the light of a flaring bark torch.
As we passed through the village on our return, we looked in upon them once more by the light of their fires, stowed away for the night—a sight as new to us as their previous appearance had been—it certainly called up no envious feelings.
Friday was the last day of August and of Summer—and though not quite as hot as the day before was sufficiently so to make red flannel shirts rather uncomfortable. At the change of tide we got under weigh that we might gain a few miles against the headwind—but we laid our course so much better than we expected, that we ventured out into the smoke and fog of Chedabucto Bay and were soon once more at Wilmot—the jumping off place in Nova Scotia.
Here we found the pink stern from Labrador by which I had started a letter for home—she sailed several hours before us from Brador and arrived here about an hour before—at this rate we shall get home as soon as they.
The hay crop is so poor this season that the farmers will probably be obliged to kill nearly all their cattle before winter—nay any vessel that will stop at Arichat nearby can have horses if they only promise to treat them well after they get them home. But Potatoes and grain appear much better than for several years past.
Both in the Gut and here we have tried a novel mode of sea-perch fishing—tying bait in a bushel basket and sinking it over the vessels side—by this means a great number may be caught in a very short time.
We found here a few Indians who did not however appear to so great advantage as the others—though they lived in a more civilized manner, having good whale boats for the cod fishery and not depending so much on the sale of their baskets.
Near the encampment we found plenty of blueberries—whilst picking them I secured the first snake that we have seen—the “sirtalis” I think.
But the greatest go of all was in the evening—all hands of us except the Captain, both crew and passengers went ashore on Burial Island, that we visited when here before, and went heartily at work searching for Frenchmen's bones—though if we had been caught we might have been liable to a heavy fine, as the island is so fast washing away that ere long it will become dangerous to navigation. Our grubbing was ere long rewarded by the discovery of an almost entire skeleton, unfortunately minus the skull. After this piece of good luck which was attended by a great cloud of dust as the wind was blowing hard at the time we performed with great agility the “dead march in Saul”—stalking along over the narrow strip of turf at the top of the high bank with immensely long strides, Dr Wyman leading the procession—much to the horror probably of the inhabitants if they saw us by the faint light of the moon, who must have supposed us to be the ghosts for the dead Frenchmen come out of their graves for a spree. We all of us shared in the bones which are, if report lie not, over a century old.
The town seemed much larger than before—perhaps because we have not seen so many houses together this side of the states—it is however too subject to fogs like the present to render it a desirable place of residence.
Close by us is anchored a vessel from St Johns, crowded with emigrants—we boarded her and examined the accommodations thereof—which were not very good. The following morning was unpleasant—foggy and a head wind so that we are obliged to remain where we are. A dull day. We went on board the “Nelson” so often mentioned before and had a confab with her captain—a slab sided downeaster.
Our cook had heard from us that some Newfoundland pups were for sale by the Indians on shore, and was so excited by the intelligence that he forthwith went off and purchased one—a little beauty that we christened “allamooche” from an Indian dog on board the Nelson. Tiger really came very near eating the infantile up, he was so glad to see him—literally rejoicing in the acquaintance.
Our crew went berrying this afternoon with the lady passenger of the “Duke Wellington”, subsequently termed the “old dad”, and evidently had a jolly time of it.
Sunday, the 2d, strange to say we got under weigh and left Wilmot harbor en route for home. We soon took the lead of the fleet that sailed with us and by night some of them were out of sight astern. Though the wind was fair, the current against us was so strong that we did not reach the neighborhood of Halifax until the next day at noon. During this time we had come up with and passed some of the fast sailing Yankee colliers though they were bound the same way as ourselves.
We hoped to be able to reach Cape Sable, the extremity of Nova Scotia, before Tuesday night—that we might thence take our departure and head for home. But we were disappointed. All went well till just after dinner when the wind started ahead. After several tacks by which we gained a few miles, and speaking a couple fishing vessels which were catching plenty of Cod and Halibut we made the harbor of Shelburne and skipper concluded to harbor for the night. Thereby committing a serious blunder as we afterwards found for shortly after dark the wind came round fair again, and we were but a few miles from the looked for Cape Sable.
On entering the bay which is guarded by a very peculiar looking light house, we passed through a large fleet of boats fishing for dogfish and which as we afterwards found remained at work through the night. I am told that they use these fish here when dried as fuel.
Be that as it may we kept on our course up the bay for several miles and finally anchored close to “Sand Point”. A beautiful bay it is too—some distance beyond us we saw the town of Shelburne—looking more like the abode of civilized men than anything we had yet seen—whilst on our left hand the smoke of burning woods rose up dense and murky recalling forcibly the skipper's incendiary exploit at Red Bay.
As we expected a clear moonlight night the Dr. proposed to go with me over to town and try to scare up some news. So whilst the rest started off in another direction, we took one of the boats and rowed ashore—upon landing and enquiring the distance to town we found that it was 5 miles and it was then at least 8 o'clock in the evening—yet as the road was a good one we were nowise cast down by this information but girded ourselves for the walk. We had seen at the wharf where we landed a poor crazy woman and ere we had gone far our conversations took rather a lugubrious turn—the moon had not yet risen and it was very dark adding additional interest to the resurrection and such like tales as we proceeded through the thick woods that lined each side of the road for a long distance. After a while the moon rose and we could better appreciate our romantic stroll—we noticed abundance of immense boulders, some of them weighing many tons, scattered in every direction—differing from those which ride on the top of glaciers in being rounded and smooth. After scaring sheep and stoning dogs we at last arrive at our journeys end—and after a short search discovered a store that was not yet closed—where we purchased some saleratus to gladden the heart of our cook and some lemon syrup to have the same effect upon ourselves. We couldn't find any newspapers and had to be satisfied with the assurance that the Cholera was worse than ever in Boston though it had begun to abate in Quebec and Montreal.
Back to the vessel again without any interruption save that we came near going through the same experiences in the fog as I did shortly before at the Gut of Canso.
Next morning while the men filled a water cask the skipper went on a potato hunt and got some of the finest “Murphies that iver yer saw,” which those who ate dinner relished highly. But as for me by that time I felt like anything rather than eating—for we sailed out to sea once more and the motion combined with the lemonade I imbibed the night before completely vanquished me.
Passing close by the wreck of a large ship ashore on the reef off Cape Negro, before night we succeeded in weathering Cape Sable and were soon in the bay of Fundy going freely before the wind.
Tiger appears to enjoy the society of the pup very much and suffers his wool to be pulled and his legs to be gnawed with much more equanimity than would be supposed. Tige wanted very much to teach him better manners once or twice, but after awhile thought better of it. It was well that we put so many perch into the well while in the Gut of Canso for the cook has now plenty of fresh provisions for the dogs, cooking several fish every day for them. And the hawk too is thus well supplied—and seeming to relish his meals as much as if he were still feeding upon those Labrador mice that used to stock his mother's larder.
We have seen within the last few days several shoals of skipjacks and albicores—but the porpoises have almost entirely disappeared and the Captain will not have an opportunity to make amends for his former ill-luck. Tiger partakes wonderfully in the interest shown by all on board with regard to porpoises—if the cry is raised that they are in sight he is immediately on the alert and if we allowed him would be right overboard—one of the most amusing instances of his passion for hunting was shown lately when a whale was alongside—it came close to us spouting loudly every few minutes—and every time that the beast appeared, Tiger seemed as if he would lose his senses, he was so eager to get at him—and I have no doubt that he would have sprang at him if we had but given him leave.
Soon after passing Cape Sable we spoke a Marblehead vessel bound for the Grand Banks to be gone several months—thank God, I wasn't in her.
After making sufficient allowance for the strength for the current here in the Bay of Fundy which runs at the rate of about 5 miles an hour, owing to the high tides, that we might not be drifted ashore upon the “seal islands”, we kept on our course without more ado. Plenty of wind and that fair—though I must confess that I did not particularly enjoy the heavy sea then and there kicked up—and besides whenever the fire was lighted in the stove, the cabin was forthwith filled with a dense smoke—greatly to my discomfort as I lay there cogitating in my berth. But I “lived in hopes”—that we should be home before long.
We had hoped that we should “make” Portland or some of the other towns on the line of the Eastern Railroad, that we might take the cars or the telegraph and be “thar” straightway. Nay even one of “the shipwrecked” during his “trick” at the helm steered a point or two out of the course that such a desirable event might come to pass—but Herod got out heroded, for the Captain, as it proved, made up for it when he put his fist upon the tiller—so that the first land that we made was the “highlands of Cape Cod”—just about 86 hours after we lost sight of Nova Scotia. The Captain had all along hoped to see this shore first as he was very anxious to see his family before he went to the city. Alas for him.
The sight of the steamer in the offing just from Wellfleet bound by the way of Provincetown to Boston took a heavy load from the minds of all the passengers—for we had supposed that we were too late for the steamer and that we should therefore be compelled to wait here until Monday morning before we could go home. As may be supposed we headed for it forthwith. Whilst passing the Captains house I wondered that none of his family came out to greet us, but supposed that we were not observed.
We reached the steamer just in time—passing through a large fleet of mackerel catchers at anchor in the harbor, and then after the sloop was hove to, hoisting out the boats and taking leave of the skipper. Once on board the Naushon we felt quite contented. I cut quite a figure—my clothes were reduced to so few that I concluded I might as well be humble minded for once so I started for home in my oil jacket and no flannel shirt—made myself at home though and let people stare as much as they liked—to Frank's great horror.
After we had passed the sloop on her way to her anchorage and had got well out of the harbor we heard of the dreadful news that was awaiting poor Atwood—his wife, his oldest son, his wife's father and mother all dead—4 out of one single family—they had recovered from the measles only to be carried off by dysentery. And here he had been laying his plans for pleasure with them when he got home, and they were dead.
This sad news cast us all down—for we knew not what tidings awaited us—and I felt the more dismally as we approached home. We sped quickly along, though it was quite rough—the boat's excessive trembling at each revolution of the wheels being the only unpleasant feature of the trip. We passed close to the new iron lighthouse on Minots Ledge and made many commiserating remarks upon the poor chap who is to be the keeper thereof—and who judging from appearances will have to keep alone sometimes for weeks at a time—excessively pleasant!
As we advanced things began to savor of Boston—a fleet of square rigged vessels bound out hove in sight at the same time as did the outer light house, that Pharos gratissima [most pleasing lighthouse]. We saw a succession of squalls pass by in front of us—but we escaped with a slight sprinkling—and in about four hours from starting we were at T Wharf. But we were long in getting on shore—as for some reason or another they found great difficulty in mooring the steamer where they wished. At last however we were near enough to venture a spring and then we were off. Dr Wyman who had been growing more and more nervous as we approached the city, forthwith took a cab for the Roxbury omnibus—and soon probably forgot everything else in his joy at finding Miss W. well—though he also found one of his brothers dangerously ill. My anxiety kept on increasing—so we stopped at Uncle Roberts’ counting house—but he was not in; as we afterwards learned, his clerk told him upon his return, that he guessed from my looks that we were right from the vessel.
We next stopped at Uncle John's—but he too was out—we learned however here that all were well at home. So thitherward we proceeded somewhat relieved.
The girl who came to the door seemed somewhat astonished to see us though she said that we had been expected for several days. Father was not at home—Mother and Robbie at Rye Beach and the girls at Hingham. We determined to have a good dinner as soon as possible, and most assuredly did. While thus engaged Father made his appearance looking as if in good health and spirits, and we soon found enough to talk about. Frank started right off for Hingham to see the good folks there and to bring the girls back with him the next day—for our clothes had been stowed away, we couldn't find out where and so we were almost as badly off as when on board sloop. Father however soon discovered that I was about of the same size with himself—this discovery was productive of most practical results.
After penning an epistle to Mother and dispatching the same to the Post Office, I sat down and took it easy, feeling at home again. To my surprise I learned that Gus. Hay had so far exerted himself as to spend part of the vacation at Rye Beach with Mother and Mary J. The individual came in in the course of the evening and didn't seem sorry to see me—nor did Uncle Robert either, who also called.
As Father was called out, and I didn't feel like spending the rest of the evening alone, I went off to pay my respects to Maria [probably Sayles] and Hatty [probably Harriet Sayles] and tell them about “the elephant”.
At night couldn't sleep much—for I was neither used to pillows or sheets—therefore felt uneasy—as did Tiger also, who appeared to find the straw in his kennel not so agreeable a couch as the hard cabin floor—perhaps he missed being rocked to sleep.
Next day betimes I was on the road to Cambridge—found our new room much smaller than the one we occupied last term though on some accounts it is more preferable—less sun to be sure, but also less noise. Mr Sparks appeared glad to see me and gave full permission to go right on with my class.
Then I met my classmates in front of Holworthy and got rather tired what with shaking hands and answering questions—which were in truth “Legions”. All without exception greeted me most heartily.
Was just in time to hear the parts read for next Exhibition and to congratulate Thayer on being our first scholar.
As Mrs Bradford was in Cambridge I must needs go see her too—and then as I was pretty well tired out I started with chum [Gus. Hay] for Boston.
I hear that Fred Leverett, my old playmate has just entered the Sophomore class and has taken a room at Divinity—and that Mr Rölken, our German instructor has gone to Hungary, to fight for them—but judging from the papers he is too late in the day.
The girls came from Hingham in the afternoon, merry as little witches—by their help some of the wanted clothing was found.
Spent the evening in Franklin St [probably at Johnson's] and the night at Uncle Roberts, so as to be able to take breakfast with Aunt Frances in the morning.
This brings me to the night of Saturday, 8th of September.
We were now fairly at home and I was soon reconciled to the idea of going out to Cambridge again—though it was with far different feelings than those with which I left it—then it was with the prospect of much pleasure before me—now with that of another years hard work with its attending headaches, dyspepsia and blues. But I ought not to be complaining thus when I have but one year more of college life and enter upon that so well in body, when so many of my classmates are pale and thin, and yet look forward to this year with so many hopes. Most of them have already begun to build their Castles in the air and are drawing up their plans for the future—even Gus. seems to have made up his mind as to what profession is best for him—whilst I am almost as much in doubt as ever—inclination versus conscience—ambition versus the stillness of private life—which to choose I know not.
One gloom has just fallen over my spirits—Dr. Robinson is dead and I have but now returned from following his remains to the grave—may I inherit with his name his love of knowledge without his aversion to an active and useful life. He has always been a kind friend to me and I used to love him. May he find peace.
Atwood has come up to Boston and disposed for his oil so well as probably to meet his expenses—he appeared deeply affected by his loss and shed many tears—poor man. He has a prospect of doing hereafter a lucrative oil business—but that is but poor consolation to him. He brought up with him my rattletraps—among them I suppose Frank's rat trap that was to do so much execution among the foxes this summer—and which it was suggested should be set overboard for stormy petrels on our way home as a last resort.
I was particularly unfortunate I find with regard to my bird skins—on opening the trunk see that they are so mouldy that many of them will be good for nothing—and am comforted but little by the assurance that several of the species are extremely rare and that there is among them a genus new to the country—however the practice that I had at it will be good although it is so provoking to lose the skins.
Those pedestrians to the north, classmates of mine, one of whom came so near to accompanying us, tell me that they also had a grand time—going to Niagara and Montreal, camping out and shooting deer—though to be sure it cost them many times what it did us. That one above referred to is now desirous that I should go with him next winter vacation to Florida—but however much I might like such an excursion, it will be impossible—I must I am inclined to think, stay at home then and do some of the general reading that I now have no time for—as my eyes are so badly that I can use them none in the evening.
And here I am in the last half of the last page of that which I undertook without hoping to finish, but which has grown by degrees to quite a mass—by degrees, written on rainy days in a smoky cabin or at night, when tired by the days hard work—with the vessel tossing and rolling, and feeling like anything but guiding a pen. The loose sheets of paper then and there defaced I have thus gathered together and shall keep perhaps for my future amusement—they will call to my mind the many pleasant hours that we spent with Atwood and Dr Wyman. Now for a time I must think of other things than these—but if I am ever able to go off on such a scrape as herein described, may I have as companions, such as accompanied me on my Labrador journey
Horatio R. Storer
Cambridge, Sept 1849.
JOURNAL OF HORATIO ROBINSON STORER'S
FIRST YEAR IN MEDICAL SCHOOL
September 1850 to June 1851
2 Sept. Monday. Began my studies in the Tremont St. Medical School—among the pupils of which I enrolled my name last Saturday night At Dr Bigelow's house. The old Dr. received me most graciously and imparted some good advice concerning the future—wh. shall endeavor to bear in mind. Went the rounds with the fellows at the Hospital at 9 A. M., Father in attendance, and saw the following cases—
1. Kelley [“Riley” written above “Kelley”]. Gangrene of lung—had previously been attacked by congestion of brain—wh. was relieved.
2. Welch. Gangrene of lung.
3. Roosevelt. Purulent Otorrhoea. German
4. Mulrey. Pthisis [sic]
5. Groze. Diseased Liver. An old toper. Died 6 Sept.
6. Hallett. Boy—trouble in muscles of neck. Given to crying.
7. Leary. Rheumatism & cardiac disease.
8. Holden. Pthisis [sic]. Grins idiotically.
9. Dixon. Pthisis [sic]. Seaman from Madeira.
10. Currotti. Enlarged Spleen. Jolly fellow. Died in Feb.
11. Orr. Typhoid. Tongue unusually moist.
12. Moren. Pleurisy.
13. McCready. Typhoid.
14. Morrow. Rheumatic foot. Inflammation of periosteum—has had a moxa applied beneficially.
15. Sanborn. Menorrhagia
16. Moffatt. Rheumatism
17. Graham. Pleurisy.
18. Tilley. Dysentery. An ancient.
19. McGec. Phthisis.
20. Burns. “ .
21. Cashman “ .
22. Welch “ . An arrant scold. Died in [blank]
23. Caverley. Hysteria. Rather non compos.
24. Smith. Fibrous tumor of uterus.
25. Smith. Haematamesis. Colored.
26. Dehon. Spinal irritation
27. Cushing. “ “ with uterine trouble. Cured.
After the visit was over Dr Townsend removed a small tumor from a womans hand—over the sinew of the left fore finger—& in the reception room was a boy with double thumb.
At 12 o'clock we met Dr Bigelow Sen. at the room and were exhorted. Spent the evening with ladies.
3 Sept. Tuesday. Visit at Hospital with Dr Shattuck, 10 A.M. Previous to which partly go the rounds with Father—having arrived too early. Shattucks patients were:
1. Farly. Doubtful what. disch'd well.
2. Cahill. Dysentery.
3. Scott. Phthisis.
4. Hapsgood. “
5. Dugan. Psoriasis
6. Mirick. Paralysis—2d attack. Has an issue between shoulders—c some dis. of kidneys. Died in [blank]
7. McDonald. Chronic Rheumatism
8. Dewire. Typhoid.
9. Smith. Dyspepsia c urinary trouble.
10. Hersey. Typhoid
11. Doharty. Phthisis
12. Moore. Ear discharging
13. Retchford. Heart
14. Drury. Rheumatism c hypertrophy of heart.
15. Whittemore. Infl. of os uteri
16. Paine. St Vitus (Chorea)
17. Bellows. Omnia
18. Makee. Some diff. in side
19. McDonald. uterine
20. Nichols. “ (vaginitis)
Having to meet Dr Jackson at 12 N. a half dozen of us dodged the heavy rain in a hackney coach. Morbid John told us to get Wilson's Anatomists vade mecum—and on Friday recite therein upon the vertebral column and skull—some 92 pages!
Spent the early part of the evening at home c Dick Hodges, who leaves on Thursday with Burnett for Paris. The latter part c ladies.
4 Sept. Rose by daylight, as have for two days past. By invitation saw Dr. Mason Warren at 8 1/2 A.M. remove a fibrous tumor from the r't breast of woman at North End, 7th Bartlett St. Had as fellow assistants, Dr Minot and H. O. Stone. At 10 went the rounds at hospital c Dr Townsend. Cases as follows—
1.[no name] Big tumor on leg from blow of log.
2. Crispin. girl. hip disease.
3. Small girl. Scrof. dis. of neck
4. Haren. girl. “ “ “ knee bones—has an issue.
5. Condry. boy child. Hip dis. Has on long splint.
6. McCormic [no description]
7. Benedetti. Ital. image carrier—necrosed clavicle with openings.
8. [no name] Fract. radius—while wheeling coal last Friday.
9. Hearty. Fistula. See p 13 [discusses operation by Townsend for fistula in ano.]
10. Parker. fract. humerus & head of radius from cow catcher.
11. Loring. fract. both thighs. Caving in of earth 10 July.
12. Leonard [no description]
13. Doroty. Simp fract. femur. 5 weeks
14. Gallagher. Scrof. dis. of testicles c tumor in groin.
15. Dickinson. Comp. fract
16. Macon. Stabbed in stomach—8 Jan.
17. Becker. Hip dis. 1 year Th.
18. Fall. Distorted Spine c tumor
19. Lincoln. Hip dis. 2 yr's st. Splint of Gutta Percha
20. Peters. hip dis. from blow by spar on nater—toe nails greatly hooked.
21. Thompson. Urethral stricture
At 1 P.M waited upon Dr Durkee at his house that we might examine a case of Urticaria (Nettle Rash). The patient appeared but the eruption did not with the exception of a single vesicle near the elbow that might easily have been mistaken for a flea bite.
Spent the evening at home.
5 Sept. Troubled by rheumatic pain in left knee—apply Tinct. Sass. et opii c Arnica. Attend Hospital—Father's beat. But little change from state on Monday—No 20, Burns, is failing fast. 3 new cases since 2d—viz
28. Manning. Dysentery—nurse from surgical ward. disch'd well.
29. Fee. Chronic dyspepsia.
30. Morrill. Typhoid.
At 12. N. Met H. J. Bigelow at the room. Worked hard during the afternoon on Wilson & the dry bones.
6 Sept. Friday. Hospital with Shattuck—one new patient
21. Reed. Typhoid.
Made our first recitation to J. B. S. Jackson in Wilson on the vertebral col. & skull—in the rooms of the Med. Imp. Soc.
After dinner went with Habersham to see a case of measles—Father's patient—Child of Curtis—19 Andover St. near Lowell rail road depot. And subsequently walked over to see the Hospital students with Nat. Hayward & to examine the new jail in Cambridge St.
Had a chat with Billy Weld in the evening & called on John Reynolds.
7 Sept. Saturday. Hospital with Parkman—viz.
1. Straff. Ulcer of head. Died [blank]
2. Wignal. Syph. ulc. of legs
3. Sheldon. Syph. laryngitis—9 weeks 8t. nit. arg. cant. was tracheotomized & died.
4. O'Brien. Amp. from comp. fract. of leg.
5. Casey. Gunpowder explosion.
6. Collins. Concussion of brain.
7. Rogers. Disl. of ulna.
8. Connell. Hip dis.
9. Sullivan. Femoral art. tied
10. Delass. Ulcer in neck.
11. Bowles. Hip dis.
12. Willcott. var. leg.
13. Perley—boy. Machine shaft—arm bent & fract of lower ext. of femur.
14. Maynard. another shaft—forearm bent.
15. Kershaw. Carding machine—lacer. hand.
16. Merkle. trouble in leg.
17. Robinson. Spurred hand by gamecock—pain in joint.
18. Dwyer. Scrof. elbow joint.
19. Hall. fall from roof—thigh disl. into for. ovale
20. Kelly. fract. of leg while drunk.
1. Disl. of elbow reduced— Parkman
2. Necrosed clav. of Ital image carr.—Townsend
3. Felon on woman's thumb incised—Parkman
4. Amp of finger— “
5. Lithotropy— H. J. Bigelow.
I subjoin a list of the operations at the Hospital that I saw performed last winter.
Sat. 10 Nov. 1849
1. Scirrhous left breast— H. J. B
2. Fistula in ano—clipping edges— H. J. B.
Sat. 17 Nov. 1849
1. Fistulous opening near girls eye
(dead bone) examd— H. J. B.
2. Hare lip—baby 7 months old— Hayward
3. Club foot—Child— Haywd
The man was exhibited whose skull had been perforated by an iron drill.
Sat. 24 Nov. 1849
1. Scirrhous left breast—very large— Haywd
2. Act. cautery over Sciatic nerves— H J B
3. Fract. arm of 1 years standg—Seton— H J B
N. B. Erysipelas attacked the last patient & spoiled the operation.
Sat. 1 Dec. 1849
1. Fistula near girls eye again examined— H J B
2. Ancient cicatrix on calf of leg removed— Townsend
Sat. 8 Dec. 1849.
1. Hare lip—young woman— H J B
2. Toe amputated— Parkman
3. Fistula in ano—Simple incisions— H J B
Sat. 15 Dec. 1849
1. Leg amp. above knee— Haywd
2. Cicatrices throat—cut— H J B
3. Club foot—girl— Parkman
4. Wart on middle finger— Parkman
A man was also exhibited with inverted bladder.
Sat. 22 Dec. 1849
1. Cancer of tongue—& cautery—Sine ether—Haywd
2. Carious toe amp— H J B.
Sat. 29 Dec. 1849
1. Ovarian cyst & fibrous tumor—Incision
of Six inches—tapped & both removed— H J B
The Patient (Mitchell) died 48 hours after of peritonitis.
Sat. 5 Jan. 1850
1. Hydrocele, right side, inject. of iodine— Parkman
2. Distorted face by bursting of pistol— H J B
Sat. 12 Jan 1850.
1. Haematocele— Haywd
2. Cancer of lower lip— Haywd
3. Fistula in ano. Sphincter divided— J M W
4. Frost bitten hands amp— H J B.
Sat 26 Jan 1850.
1. Naevous tumor tied—child's cheek— Haywd
2. Necrosed humerus—boy— H J B
3. Polypus nasi—woman— Parkman
4. No 3 of 24 Nov. bones dovetailed— H J B
Sat 2 Feb 1850.
1. Cancer of lower lip—4 years st'g H J B
Much Erysipelas in Surgical wards.
Sat 9 Feb. 1850. Too much Erysipelas. At Portland.
Sat 16 Feb. 1850. Erysipelas still prevents operations.
Sat 23 Feb.
1. Hare lip— Hayward.
Others postponed because of H J B's illness from post mortem wound.
Sat. 2 March.
1. Amp. of forefinger—bitten by a man— J. C. W.
2. Castr. of right testicle— J. C. W.
3. Scirrhous left breast— J. M. W.
4. Ineffect. attempt to reduce
disl. shoulder by pullies—old man—
almost died— J. M. W.
Sat 9 March.
1. Forefinger amp. woman— J. C. W.
New mode of curing stammering successfully exhibited by the discoverer.
[End of the list of earlier operations.]
After the operations of today (7 Sept) we attended the autopsy of Groze—No 5 in Fathers ward. It was performed by J. B. S. J. The different parts were pretty thoroughly demonstrated to our great satisfaction—I obtained possession of the heart—I upon our departure had the misfortune to fall down in the yard—hurt myself badly & got wet—for it was raining heart (I meant to say hard)—& worst of all the paper burst & out flew the heart—to Jackson's horror. Went back again to the dead house & put it in my pocket safely. Spent the afternoon at home dissecting said heart with Nat. Hayward, who took tea with me.
8 Sept. Sunday. very stormy—but went to church all day I heard Charley Bowen of Providence preach. Evening at home.
9 Sept. Monday. Hospital with Father—A miss from Old Bigelow—One new patient at Hospital viz.
Saw a good case of emphysema in the reception room. Evening abroad with friends.
10 Sept. Tuesday. Hospital with Shattuck—one new case—viz
Farly (no 1) & Hapgood (no-4) have left since the 6th—the former having been discharged well and the latter feeling compelled to be at work for his family. Attended thence the Eye & Ear Infirmary—Dr Bethune in attendance. Went to Jackson's Pathological recitation, but took no part therein.
Took Abby to hear the Temperance lecturer Gough in the evening—Found Habersham there.
11 Sept—Wednesday. Hospital with Townsend.
22. Henderson—Hernia of omentum.
23. Hearty—Fistula in ano.
Went to Father's recitation at 12 n. Thence to Dr Durkee's where I saw a case of Impetigo sparsa. In the afternoon we proceeded to the Medical College, hoping to see a Dissection of a foetus by Dr. J. B. S. J. but the subject was too far gone.
Evening at home.
12 Sept. Thursday. Hospital with Father.
32. Barrett. Phthisis
33. McDermot. Heart, lungs, deformed shoulder—no breasts. Died.
Attended H. J. Bigelow's recitation in Druitt—through Tetanus.
Evening abroad with friends.
13 Sept. Friday. Hospital with Bowditch.
23. Murphy. Impetigo—child
Went to Jackson's anatomical recitation immediately from the Infirmary, where had seen an operation for Cataract—and another for removal of fungous growth from eye—Went to Cambridge in afternoon. Evening at home.
14 Sept. Saturday. Hospital with Parkman. Abscess in axilla lanced in reception room.
21. Newcomb. Fistula in ano.
No 17—on p. 8 [Parkman's patient Robinson] was cauterized in neck of bladder for emission of Semen. Went at noon to Hingham in the “Mayflower”—walked upon ‘Turkey Hill’ to view the scenery.
15 Sept. Sunday. Before breakfast walked to the ‘Forest Sanctuary', albeit I had imbibed a dose of laudanum the night before to counteract the effects of some new cider. To church in the morning I heard Mr Gray of Boston. After dinner, rode, as did yesterday, with the girls to gather mosses from fences and rocks. Wrote to [former classmates Ephraim] Ball & Willm Osgood.
16 Sept. Monday. Came from Hingham & strode forthwith to the Hospital, where met Father. Nothing new. At Old Bigelow's recitation on Pneumonia & Pleurisy. Went with Father to see a case of Phthisis at the North End, where saw wife of Groze (Case 1) who died at the Hospital. Received box of eggs from Couper of Darien, Ga.
17 Sept. Tuesday. Hospital c Shattuck.
24. Newell. Dysentery.
25. McCann. Pleurisy.
Infirmary with Bethune: Two operations for cataract and one for removal of Eye ball—this last accompanied by profuse hemorrhage—as an assistant thereat I remained until dinner time—thus necessarily cutting the morbid [J. B. S. J.'s] recitation. After dinner attended Dr. Dix, who removed a fungus from ear of boy—much vomiting over carpet from effects of ether on full stomach. Wrote to England. Evening with ladies.
18 Sept. Wednesday Hospital c Townsend.
24. Quinn. Amputated leg—catheter passed.
25. [nameless] Conjunctivitis—Old syph. trouble
26. Reynolds—Pott's dis. of spine—Boy.
At Dr Durkee's saw a fine case of Lepra vulgaris—& did not see one expected of carbuncle. At father's quiz. There were fireworks on the Common but evening was too damp for me. Spent part of it at Uncle Roberts.
19 Sept. Thursday. Hospital c Father. Nothing new. Cut Henry J's quiz to go to book auction—at which however bought nothing. In evening went with Father to Hospital to see a case of Hydrothorax—but it was unfortunately better.
20 Sept Friday. Hospital c Shattuck
26. Taggart. Typhoid—Boy
27. Fricker. Cardiac and Renal diff.
Infirmary c Hooper—Operation for cataract. At Morbid Johns Anat. quiz.
21 Sept. Saturday. Attended an autopsy at the Hospital, which prevented my going the rounds and seeing the only operation—one for fistula in ano—Hearty (p13. case 23 [of Townsend]). A woman was brought to the Hospital from the Worcester depot, insensible, & died in about two hours—yesterday afternoon—it was thought she was poisoned. A coroners inquest was held this morning by Cor. Pratt & permission was given to Dr Dalton to make the necessary examination—he began so to do at about 1/2 after 10 o'clock & finished at 3—all of which time I was taking notes for him. Most thoroughly performed—took dinner at the Hospital.
22 Sept. Sunday. Went to church—two very excellent sermons from Mr Briggs of Plymouth. Was attacked while walking through Temple St. with Father at about 8 in the evening, by two Irishmen—both of whom escaped with contusions & left a hat behind. Father was rather severely bruised.
23 Sept. Monday. Hospital c Father
34. McLoer. Phthisis.
Currotti (Case 10) has an attack of varioloid & is carried to a ward below.
Went to quiz of Bigelow, Sen. at noon & of Bigelow Jun. in afternoon. Uncle Woodbury & his family came for a day or two on their way home. Evening at home.
24 Sept. Tuesday. Didn't go to the Hospital because went to see Dr Dix operate for cataract at Lynn—afterwards saw with him badly torn eyelids from accident. Next the Infirmary, where saw Dr Bethune operate for cataract. After dinner Dr Dix again cataracted & took me to see an eye at South Boston, which had been damaged by boiling oil. At J. B. S. J's quiz this noon—he exhibited the melanosed eye removed at the Infirmary on the 17th (p. 15)—and the cancerous lungs of Sarti, the Italian anatomical lecturer who had just died under Fathers care. Went with George Jeffries to East Boston in the evening.
25 Sept. Wednesday. Started with Jeffries before daylight for Chelsea marshes, where spent the forenoon—with but indifferent success. Took a salt water bath & came home in his skiff. Evening abroad. (This morning the first ticket to Jenny Linds first concert sold for $628!! to one Dodge, a vocalist.)
26 Sept. Thursday. Hospital c Pater
35. Hill. Sec. Syphilis
At H. J. B's recitation in Druitt.
27 Sept. Friday. Hospital c Shattuck.
At Infirmary & J. B. S.’ quiz, although weather is very unpleasant. Began dissecting this afternoon—having previously made arrangements with the demonstrator Ainsworth. [Classmates Edward Payson] Abbe, [Joaquim Barbosa] Cordeiro, [Charles Archibald] Robertson & [Nathan] Hayward share the subject, which is a female, with me—I drew an arm as I wished.
28 Sept. Saturday. Dissecting vigorously—operations at Hospital were for hare lip on young baby by Townsend.
Removal of Tumor on leg by Parkman & Fistula in ano by the same.
29 Sept. Sunday. At Church all day. Mr Knapp of Brookline preaching—took Cordeiro with me in the morning. Last night was in a great crowd in Bowdoin Square, who had assembled to hear Jenny Lind serenaded & to see her. There were some very good fireworks & a most intense jam. Spent the evening abroad.
30 Sept. Monday. Early at dissecting room. Went with Habersham friends to the Nat Hist rooms & to the Hospital. Went to Cambridge in the afternoon—rode out with George Lowell & in with Tom Frothingham. Called on Couper of Georgia—& took him round to see Agassiz, who was unwell & couldn't see us & Girard, who was out. Evening at home.
1 Oct. Tuesday. Dissected in the morning. In the afternoon went with [classmate] Zab[diel]. [Boylston] Adams to the Hospital connected with the House of Industry at South Boston. Spent the evening on Dr Dix's shed, listening to Jenny Lind, who was singing in the adjoining Tremont Temple.
2 Oct. Wednesday. Dissected—operations at the Hospital were for
1. Hydrocele—left side—by J. M. W.
2. Anchylosis of right knee joint by J. M. W.
After dinner went with Father & Habersham to Roxbury & assisted in the Autopsy of Mr Peabody—abscesses in liver & throughout cellular tissue which was inordinately developed—also valve of heart ossified. Evening at home.
3 Oct. Thursday. Dissected. In the afternoon went to Dorchester with Ellis & Habersham to see Dr Gorham. Had chilly rides on top of omnibus. Spent evening with Mother listening to Jenny Lind.
4 Oct. Friday. Dissected. Assisted Father in operation for imperforate vagina. At J. B. S. J's quiz. In afternoon to Cambridge to hear Wyman lecture.
5 Oct. Autopsy at Hospital of Irishman. Dead of Apoplexy. Operations were for
1. Needle in hand—woman— J M W
2. Necrossed lower jaw— J M W
3. Varicocele— J M W
Spent afternoon in showing the Nat. Hist. rooms to Couper of Ga. who dined with me. Evening abroad.
6 Oct. Sunday. To church all day. In evening with Abbè to Tremont Temple, where heard Dr Channing & Barnum (Jenny Linds Master) lecture on Temperance.
7 Oct. Monday. Dissected. Went with Nat Hayward & Cordeiro to see a ship launched for Mr Weld at East Boston—unfortunately it stuck in the mud after leaving the ways.
8 Oct. Tuesday. Dissected—At J. B. S. J's quiz. Spent the evening at Abbè's with some of the fellows.
9 Oct. Wednesday. Dissected—finishing the arm that I have been working on. Most opportunely Dr Mason Warren gave me an amputated leg this morning, so that I can continue at it. Evening abroad.
10 Oct. Thursday. Dissected. Head ache. Evening at home.
11 Oct. Friday. Dissected—finishing the leg. At J. B. S. J's quiz. Went with Messrs Jackson, Oliver and French to Plymouth—to have a weeks gunning.
12 Oct. Saturday. Spent last night at old Mr Jacksons—went this morning to their farm & thence on foot with the others to Henry Holmes’ at Mahomet Point—a distance of 7 miles. Here we found Mr Isaac McClellan Jr. a good sportsman whom I liked. We shot a good many ducks—going out every morning by daylight in dories, anchoring some distance from shore in line, & firing at the birds as they came along. Whenever any fell, threw over buoy & picked them up. Scoured the country in various directions in search of game & wild grapes—of which latter we found a profusion. Had most excellent chowders, baked tautog & “stew pies” of coots. Had a very nice time—returned to Plymouth on the afternoon of Saturday, 19 Oct.
20 Oct Sunday. At the Jackson's—find a mattress to be a most acceptable thing—having slept on a featherbed during the past week & two in a bed at that. Went to Church in the morning to Unitarian—where heard a poor begging sermon from a bible missionary, & in the afternoon to Universalist Church with Miss Hatty, hearing the Rev. Tomlinson—went to church in pea jacket. After service walked around “Billington Sea”, a large pond just out of town—about 7 miles in circuit.
21 Oct. Monday. Returned to Boston in early train with ducks & tautog, which sent among friends. At Bigelow's Sen. quiz.
22 Oct. Tuesday. Hospital with Shattuck. At Eye & Ear Infirmary, & J. B. S. J's quiz. Assisted Father this P.M. in lancing a woman's finger.
23 Oct. Wednesday. Hospital c Pater & old Warren—operations were for exfoliations of tibia in a case of compound fracture—& for removal of polypus from woman's nose. At Fathers quiz. To Cambridge with Mother this P.M. where saw Mrs Thies, Mr Agassiz, Count Pourtalès and wife and the fellows. Evening abroad.
24 Oct. Thursday. Hospital c pater. At H. J. B's quiz. To Court of Common Pleas, where heard Father testify as witness.
26 Oct. Saturday. Operations at Hospital after Surgical visit with Mason Warren were
1. Division of infraorbital nerve
in woman for spasmodic contraction
of muscles of right face— by Old Warren.
2. For lip of man bitten in row— by J. M. Warren
3. Trepanning—ancient fracture of left
parietal, followed by epilepsy— by J. M. Warren
To [Boston Society of] N[atural]. H[istory]. Rooms in afternoon with Frank Browne [Harvard Class of 1851]. Evening at home.
27 Oct. Sunday. To church all day. Mr Miles of Lowell at Chauncy Place. Father Taylor in North Square with Habersham, Abbe, Hen. Sayles, Mother & some girls.
28 Oct. Monday. Hosp. c Pater. At Bigelow, Sen.'s quiz. Evening abroad. Cold weather has begun.
29 Oct. Tuesday. Hospital c Shattuck. At Infirmary where operation was begun for supposed melanosis, which proved however to be an encysted tumor. At J. B. S. J's quiz. With Reynolds and Zab. Adams to Dr. Dix, who removed little tumor from sailor's lower eye lid. At Holmes’ quiz. Evening abroad.
30 Oct. Wednesday. Hosp. c Warren Senior. Operations for
1. Necrosed tibia. in Surg. ward— War. Sen
2. Fatty tumor over left clavicle— War. Jun.
At Paters quiz & at Holmes’ ditto. Evening abroad.
31 Oct. Thursday. Hosp. c Shattuck. At H. J. B's quiz—& with a few fellows to see him operate in the afternoon for cancer penis—circumcision—after which sat c patient for an hour & a half to prevent hemorrhage. Evening abroad.
1 Nov. Friday. Hosp c J. Bigelow—& assisted Hayward in reducing an Irishmans dislocated shoulder. At Infirmary—where saw op. for cataract in old man. To Jamaica Plains this P.M. c mother to make calls.
2 Nov. Saturday. Hosp. c H. J. Bigelow. Operation—Amp of 1st phalanx pollicis for Paronychia—H J B. Saw Couper of Ga. at noon.
3 Nov. Sunday. To Church all day. Chandler Robbing preaching. Robertson & Hathaway dined with us. Abbè is somewhat unwell. Wild goose chase for Father.
4 Nov. Monday. Hosp. c Bowditch. Holmes met us about dissecting again. At J. Bigelows quiz. Joined Bowditchs class for Auscultation & Percussion. To accident (lacerated scalp) with Father. Evening at home.
5 Nov. Tuesday. At Med. College with Holmes, assisting him in assorting bones of carpus & tarsus. Began dissecting again—subject an ancient female—fellow workers, Blake, Hayward, [William Nourse] Lane & Hathaway. I obtained as desired, a leg. At Holmes’ quiz this P. M.
6 Nov. Wednesday. Dissected. Dr Ware gave the Introductory Lecture before the class—Subject—Causes of the physician's success in life. Was present. To South Boston Hospital c Bowditch & the class—percussed divers patients—saw a man die—from secondary haemorrhage after amputation & erysipelas. With Frank to meeting of Nat. Hist. Soc. in Evening.
7 Nov. Thursday. Dissected. Hosp c J. Bigelow. At his clinical. At lectures of Channing, Horsford & Holmes—the latter an eulogy on late Dr Parkman. Dissected again—all of which about used me up by nightfall. Bad headache.
8 Nov. Friday. Dissected. At lectures of H. J. Bigelow, Horsford & Holmes. Dissected again. Evening c class [for Auscultation & Percussion] at Bowditch's house.
9 Nov. Saturday. Dissected. Operations were for
1—Epithelial cancer of lower lip— H J B
2—Hare lip— Hayward
3—Removal of old cicatrix-
(15 Dec last winter)— H J B.
10 Nov. Sunday. At church all day. Mr Rufus Ellis preaching. Evening at home.
11 Nov. Dissected. Hosp c Bowditch. At J. Bigelows clinical. Also at lectures of H. J. B., Channing & Holmes. At Bowditchs recitation of P.M. & to Durkee's where saw a case of Eczema impetiginodes. Carried a “battle door” placenta to dissecting room to be injected. Paid for part of lecture tickets. Received box of English Eggs from Bartlett. Evening partly at home and partly away from it. Election day. Loco foco Governor.
12 Nov. Tuesday. Dissected. At [J. B. S.] Jackson's, Horsford's & Holmes’ lectures. Dissected. Evening at home. Wrote to Jardine.
13 Nov. Wednesday. Dissected. At lectures of H. J. Bigelow, Horsford, & Holmes. To Marine Hospital at Chelsea with Bowditch & his class where examined divers patients—over in ferry boat—back on foot. Evening at home.
14 Nov. Thursday. Dissected. At lectures of Horsford & Holmes. Dined at Uncle Roberts. Diss[ected].
15 Nov. Friday. Dissected. At lectures of [blank] Dissected again—finishing this subject. Evening c class at Dr Bowditch's.
16 Nov. Sat. Operations at Hospital today were for
1. Removal of contents of left eye— Hayward
2. Reduction of scrotal hernia— H J B
3. Removal of hypertrophied middle
finger of girl, aet 16 yrs. 5 1/2 inches
long—same in girth— H J B.
Dined with Abbè—in company with Habersham and Hayward. Went to see Henry Bigelow operate for fistula in ano this afternoon at the Bromfield House. At Bowditch's quiz—where percussed divers small children.
18 Nov. Monday. Hospital c Bowditch. Saw him perform paracentesis thoracis for chronic pleurisy without success. At lectures of H. J. B, J. Bigelow (clinical), Channing & Holmes. Girard & Sourel dined with us.
19 Nov. Tuesday. At lectures of Jackson, Horsford & Holmes. In evening pleasant walk with sister Abby & friends by moonlight round Common.
20 Nov. Wednesday. Frightened somewhat by neighboring fire early this morning. At lectures. With class of Bowditch to South Boston where saw among other things a case of scrotal hernia in man named Trumbull probably equal to the famous one of Gibbon. In evening to Nat. Hist. Society meeting where saw the strange, dwarfish so called “Aztec” children.